Bluetooth technology named after the ancient Viking king Bluetooth?

Wireless Bluetooth technology started intruding into our lives in the early 2000s and has now become quite an indispensable tool that we use every day. However, what does the name Bluetooth even mean? Is Bluetooth really named after a Danish king who ruled more than 1000 years ago?


When was Bluetooth invented?

Bluetooth wireless technology was developed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group located in Kirkland, Washington in 1998.

As with most new technologies, it took a few years for the general public to really adopt it, so it wasn’t until around 2003/2004.

The technology’s popularity exploded with the advent of cell phones and hands-free headsets in the early 2000s.

Fast forward to today, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t have at least one Bluetooth speaker.

Now let’s talk about the origin of the name Bluetooth…

What does Bluetooth mean?

It seems the name of the wireless technology was only meant to be temporary until the creators could come up with something “better”.

In 1997, developer Jim Kardach suggested the name Bluetooth as a placeholder after discovering a photo of Harald Bluetooth Runestone.

From –

“Bluetooth was only meant to be a placeholder until marketing could come up with something really cool.

Later, when it came time to choose a serious name, Bluetooth was to be replaced by RadioWire or PAN (Personal Area Networking). PAN was the favorite, but an exhaustive search revealed that it already had tens of thousands of hits on the Internet.”

The developers were unable to obtain trademark clearance on the name RadioWire before the launch date, so they kept the Bluetooth name according to

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Bluetooth wireless technology was actually named for the 10th century Danish Viking king HaraldBluetooth.

Yes, there was actually a king by the name of Bluetooth.

Harald “Bluetooth” Gormsson ruled Norway from c. 958 – c. 986.

King Harald Bluetooth is credited for “to unite the disparate Danish tribes into one kingdom” and Kardach would have suggested the name “to imply that Bluetooth similarly unites communication protocols”.

The Bluetooth logo is a combination of two ancient Viking letters called a binding rune.

The two ancient Viking letters used are “H” and “B”, the initials of King Harald Bluetooth.

Read more about King Bluetooth on

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