Tech Terms: Baffled By Bluetooth

Another common tech term that can be confusing is Bluetooth.  A reader asked. “What does or is blue tooth. I thought it might be a mouth disease like blue tongue in deer.”

Bluetooth (one word with a capital B) is a form of wireless communication between devices. It’s a direct communication between devices, so no WiFi is required.


Bluetooth can connect (pair is a term you’ll see often) headphones to Bluetooth-enabled smartphones, tablets, or PCs. It could also connect speakers to any of these devices. It could even connect a mouse or keyboard. Pretty much anything that could connect with a wire can connect via Bluetooth.

A big plus is that Bluetooth headphones will work with a phone, a PC, or a tablet. It doesn’t matter which brand. If the device supports Bluetooth, the headsets should work. The same is true for speakers or a keyboard.  A Bluetooth-enabled mouse wouldn’t work with a phone or an iPad, just because those devices don’t support any mouse.

While Bluetooth is the name of the technology that allows the connection, it’s not the brand name of the device. You could have Sony speakers that are Bluetooth-capable or a Samsung TV that’s Bluetooth-ready.

One last note: don’t confuse Bluetooth with Blu-Ray. Blu-Ray is a type of format for DVDs and has nothing to do with Bluetooth.

~ Cynthia

One thought on “Tech Terms: Baffled By Bluetooth

  1. If I turn on Bluetooth in my cellphone… then I can use my OnStar car phone. It will use any of my contacts stored in my cellphone.
    If you intend to make a phone call with your cell, then be sure to turn off the Bluetooth feature in your cell phone.

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