Did Bluetooth Originate with the Vikings?
We are all familiar these days with Bluetooth devices. From headsets, to speakers and so forth, but where did it originate from? The symbol used to represent Bluetooth looks a lot like a rune. Is there any truth to this and if so how did it come about?
In fact, there is some truth to this legend. A viking named Harald “Blåtand” (Bluetooth) Gormsson ruled around the 10th century. He was responsible for the unification of Denmark. Following this feat, Harald set his sights beyond the borders of his own kingdom, and conquered Norway. Whilst the majority of his subjects were followers of paganism, Harald was favorably inclined towards Christianity. He did what he could to promote this foreign faith within his kingdom. Today, Harald Blåtand (‘Bluetooth’) is a household name thanks to the wireless technology standard named after him.
Below is an example of how the bluetooth symbol came about based upon the initials of Harald Bluetooth.
According to some scholars, Harald was nicknamed ‘Blåtand’ i.e. ‘Bluetooth’ as he had a dead tooth that looked blue, or dark. This nickname is today known the world over as it is also the name of a wireless technology standard. The name was chosen due to Swedish telecommunication company Ericsson’s Viking heritage. The founders felt that Harald Bluetooth’s ability to unite people in peaceful negotiations would be appropriate for a telecommunications technology. Jim Kardach, one of the founders of Bluetooth SIG, explains the story:
“Harald had united Denmark and Christianized the Danes! It occurred to me that this would make a good codename for the program. At this time I also created a PowerPoint foil with a version of the Runic stone where Harald held a cellphone in one hand and a notebook in the other and with a translation of the runes: “Harald united Denmark and Norway” and “Harald thinks that mobile PC’s and cellular phones should seamlessly communicate”.