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The Danish King=Bluetooth ?

This article was written by Zanelle Awinyo, Year 9 - as part of her new series: 'Free Fact Fridays'

Why can’t bluetooth devices swim? Because they’re always trying to sync…

You may be wondering; what does a Danish king have in common with bluetooth?

Have you ever heard of the Jelling stones?

They’re rune stones in the small town of Jelling, Denmark.

At their prime, they were painted in bright colours. Unfortunately, after a millennium of erosion, all that remains now are the inscriptions -

And even if we might not know about it, the legacy of these ruins lives on with us today…

More than a thousand years ago, the first kings of Denmark had placed them there as historical markers. The smaller, older Jelling stone was placed by King Gorm to honour his wife. However, the larger one was placed by their son, whose name - once translated to English - was Harald Bluetooth.

The stone is an incredibly important artifact, not only to the Danish people but to archeologists and historians worldwide. It tells the tale of a king who united Denmark and Norway through religion. Some even refer to it as ‘Denmark’s birth certificate’.

A thousand years later, Jim Kardach, an engineer at Intel was working on short-range radio technology. At the time, the names that would often be proposed for such tech were things like MC-Link or Low Power RF...all scientific and complicated.

Kardach heard the story of Harald Bluetooth from a Swedish person he was working alongside and he figured it would make a good codename for the technology. At first that’s all it was supposed to be: a codename.

The official name that was decided later on was PAN (Personal Area Networking). However, three weeks before public launch, the lawyers said they couldn’t trademark something as generic as PAN, so they were back to where they started.

With no other options, they opted for the codename: Bluetooth. And the logo?

That’s actually ‘HB’ : Harald’s initials in runic characters, and when put together in a bind rune, they form the bluetooth logo.

A millennia ago, a Danish King ordered the Jelling stones to be carved and erected to mark his success. Today, his name is everywhere!

And that’s a free fact you now know.

Tune in next Friday to learn another fact you didn't know you needed!


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