Chances are that you use at least one Bluetooth enabled device on a daily basis. If you don’t know, Bluetooth is a wireless technology that allows devices to exchange data over short distances. Whether it’s your phone pairing to your car, a speaker, a headset, or countless other items, Bluetooth is a very beneficial technology. Most TVs today allow for Bluetooth connectivity from laptops, phones, cameras, and more.
I bet you didn’t know that Bluetooth came from the Vikings though. Wait, what? Yeah, that’s right. We have the Vikings to thank for Bluetooth. Well, specifically one Viking king, and really just the name.
Let me explain….thousands of years ago (the tenth century give or take a few years to be exact), there was a king of Denmark and Norway named Harald Gormsson. King Harald was a terrific king who actually brought many separate Danish tribes together into a single kingdom, even introducing Christianity to them.
Stay with me now. The King was believed to have had a dead tooth that had a bluish tint to it. So, Harald was given the nickname Bluetooth. See what’s happening here now?
When Intel’s Jim Kardach was working on a system to allow mobile phones to communicate with computers in 1997, he happened to be reading a novel by Frans G. Bengtsson entitled The Long Ships. This book was about Vikings and the good King Bluetooth. So, that’s where the name for Bluetooth came from.
One of the even cooler aspects of this story is that the logo for Bluetooth is a combination of Harald’s initials. The H is Hagall and the B is Bjarkan of the Yunger Futhark runes (an old Scandinavian alphabet). They are combined into the well-known stylized Bluetooth logo.
So, no, the Vikings didn’t invent Bluetooth. But we have a Viking King that will forever be immortalized in modern-day technology. Feel free to use this fun fact to win a bet or simply impress someone with your fancy knowledge.