Anybody who owns a cellphone (which is pretty much anyone you meet these days) has heard of Bluetooth technology. But only a small fraction of those people have heard of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group.
You see, most people who have heard of Bluetooth are under the impression it's a company responsible solely for making Bluetooth hands free car kits and jawbone bluetooth headsets. The truth is, Bluetooth is actually an open wireless technology standard responsible for a ton of different products far beyond just your basic hands-free cellphone accessories.
The basis of the Bluetooth technology is that it transfers data efficiently and wirelessly over a relatively short distance. Dubbed "an electronic cable-replacement" by some, the Bluetooth technology works through a small, relatively cheap radio chip that makes wires unnecessary by sending out a short-range radio frequency. This is what makes Bluetooth headsets work, as well as Bluetooth technology in computers, printers, and fax machines.
It was the Swedish technology corporation Ericsson that created the Bluetooth technology back in 1994. But today the technology is controlled by what is called The Bluetooth Special Interest Group.
A privately held non-profit trade association, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group was founded in September of 1998, four years after the invention of the Bluetooth technology. Initially, the "Bluetooth SIG" (as it was and is still called) had five members. Bu the end of 1998, their numbers extended over 400, and the following year they won "Best of Show Technology Award" at the prestigious COMDEX.
The SIG was already overly successful, but it was in 2001 that they truly took off. That was the year that the first Bluetooth printer, the first Bluetooth laptop, and the first Bluetooth hands free car kits were released. Once these products became unbelievably successful, the Bluetooth SIG became a privately-held trade association.
Another thing people don't realize about the Bluetooth SIG: they don't actually make or sell any Bluetooth headsets or accessories. Not the printers, not the laptops, not the cellphone accessories, nothing. No Bluetooth products are sold by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group.
According to their website, the one and only mission of the Bluetooth SIG is to "drive development of Bluetooth wireless technology, and implement and market the technology in their products." According to the groups official mission statement, also available on their website, the Bluetooth SIG strives to "s Strengthen the Bluetooth brand by empowering SIG members to collaborate and innovate, creating the preferred wireless technology to connect diverse devices."
In 2010, the Bluetooth SIG boats nearly 14,000 companies amongst its ranks, with the most powerful being the "promoter members" such as Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, Toshiba, and of course the founder of Bluetooth technology, Ericsson Technology Licensing.