Bluetooth is an open wireless technology standard, used to transfer and communicate date over short distances. In other words, it is an electronic cable-replacement. Using a tiny, inexpensive radio chip that produces a short-range, low-cost radio frequency, Bluetooth eliminates the need for cables running between your computer, printer, cell-phone, etc.
The most popular Bluetooth accessory is the hands-free headset, which is currently one of the most well-known wireless cell phone accessories available.
The Bluetooth technology was originally created be Swedish technology company Ericsson in 1994. However, today it is managed by the privately held, not-for-profit trade association called “The Bluetooth Special Interest Group.”
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group, or SIG, was founded in September of 1998 with five original members. By the end of the year they had over 400. In 1999 they hosted the first “UnPlugFest,” and were awarded the “Best of Show Technology Award” at COMDEX.
The year 2001 was a big one for the SIG, which came out with some of its most popular Bluetooth accessory products, such as the first printer, the first laptop, and the first hands-free car kit. It was at this point that the Bluetooth SIG, Inc. became a privately held trade association.
Surprisingly, the Bluetooth SIG doesn’t manufacture or sell any Bluetooth accessories. Their mission is solely to “drive development of Bluetooth wireless technology, and implement and market the technology in their products.” Since most technology companies only mission typically is inflating their profit numbers, it’s reassuring to see a non-profit organization thrive towards the goal of bettering technology, as opposed to bettering finances.
Their mission statement, which can be read on the Bluetooth SIG official website (www.bluetooth.com), reads: “Strengthen the Bluetooth brand by empowering SIG members to collaborate and innovate, creating the preferred wireless technology to connect diverse devices.”
So, the obvious question is: How does one become an SIG member?
Membership in the Bluetooth SIG is intended for any corporation that uses the technology for Bluetooth accessories and products. All members assist in the progress dual mode bluetooth module and development of the technology, and receive a series of advantages for being members.
Some of these advantages include access to Bluetooth.org, usage of Bluetooth wireless specification in products, ability to use Bluetooth trademarks on products as well as through marketing, free access to the Bluetooth Brand Equity Study, selected market research reports from InMedica, and free logo posting in the Bluetooth SIG Member Network. There is an annual fee involved, a financial obligation given in good faith, knowing the Bluetooth SIG is a non-profit organization.
To become a member of the Bluetooth SIG, a company must register through the official Bluetooth website. The first step is becoming an “adopter member,” which is free. After that is completed, the head of your company is encouraged to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. After this, the applying company is taken into consideration for membership.
Currently, the Bluetooth SIG has over 13,000 companies within its membership, though the most influential are the “promoter members,” which includes Ericsson Technology Licensing (the founder of Bluetooth technology), Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, and Toshiba.
The SIG headquarters are located in Kirkland, Washington, though major offices exist in Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul, Minato-Ku, Tokyo, Taiwan, and Malmo. Their staff consists of a series of marketers, engineers, and operations professionals.