Tech tips: Shop the blue light special this holiday season

A Bluetooth device can be perfect for the techie on your list

Every year there are new technologies and devices that appear. Some don’t seem to last, while others become standard. One such technology that’s become popular is Bluetooth. If you’ve ever seen someone walking around and talking, but without a phone up to their ear, Bluetooth is likely the answer.

It’s not hard to be fooled by the tiny earpiece they are using to talk on the phone. The earpiece uses Bluetooth to wirelessly and securely link to a person’s phone so they can talk hands-free. Bluetooth is similar to the wireless technology used to broadcast an Internet connection throughout a home, but it operates on a much smaller range, usually 30 feet or less.

While the earpieces used to talk on the phone are the original and most common use for Bluetooth, the technology goes way beyond that.

In a nutshell, Bluetooth is a technology that allows you to transmit data over short ranges between devices like cell phones and computers. Bluetooth can be used in many different ways in conjunction with your high-speed Wi-Fi connection. It’s the technology of choice for devices like headphones, speakers, in-dash GPS programs and even some cameras. Certain vehicles are also equipped with Bluetooth capabilities to project a phone call over a car’s speakers. It’s a safe option to make and receive phone calls during your drive, allowing you to keep both hands on the wheel at all times.

There are also many personal computers on the market with Bluetooth capabilities. The great thing about those computers is the ease of connecting wirelessly with your cell phone, printer, mouse or keyboard. Basically, Bluetooth technology gives you all the benefits of being “hard-wired” without any actual wires. On top of that, all Bluetooth devices work with each other, meaning replacing your computer or phone doesn’t mean having to change out your Bluetooth accessories.
For tablet users, it’s easy to connect a keyboard or mouse to maximize productivity. As long as you’ve got a Bluetooth connection, you don’t have to worry about getting tangled up in wires, saving space in your work area.

In the last two years, Bluetooth has really opened doors for music lovers. If you enjoy listening to music, there are Bluetooth speakers that can sync with your smartphone to play music anywhere. Imagine if you’re out on the lake and want to listen to music, but you don’t want to use your phone’s subpar speakers. As long as your device is connected to the speakers via Bluetooth, you can enjoy music anywhere. If stationary speakers aren’t your style, there are even sunglasses — yes, sunglasses — with speakers that use Bluetooth to connect.

Don’t miss out on making the most of your devices. A Bluetooth connection can take your technology to the next level — and make a great gift for any tech-friendly person on your holiday shopping list.