Bluetooth, the wireless technology enabling data to be exchanged over relatively short distances using radio waves was first developed in 1989 by Nils Rydbeck, an employee of Ericsson in Sweden but the first commercially produced mobile device did not appear until 10 years later and rapidly gained immense popularity.

The name, however, dates back to an era more associated with longships and Norse gods than any form of modern technology! It is taken from King Harold Bluetooth, though, rather disappointingly, the epithet only seems to apply to him having a decayed tooth rather than any more dramatic manifestation of a strange appearance. He was, however, undeniably a real rather than mythological character, and he was credited with fusing diverse tribes into a consonant entity. Admittedly it takes a certain creative leap to necessarily associate this with mobile telephony, but the metaphor of uniting various technologies is not wholly inappropriate. It is probably worth mentioning that Jim Kardach, who proposed the name, was reading a historical novel on the subject at the time!

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