Dr. Jaap Haartsen, who invented Bluetooth while working at Ericsson in the 1990s, has been nominated as a finalist by the European Patent Office in the industry category for its European Inventor Award.
The award is granted annually by the European Patent Office (EPO) to outstanding inventors for their contribution to technological, social and economic progress.
Bluetooth, a low energy, peer-to-peer wireless technology was born in an Ericsson lab in Lund, Sweden in the 1990’s and became a global standard of short distance wireless connection. When the technology celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2008, the amount of Bluetooth-enabled devices shipped in ten years was already 2 billion. Today, the technology is used not only by mobile phones and PCs, but also by almost all consumer electronics devices, medical and health devices, sports and fitness devices, cars and smart homes. (An Instant research report predicted last year that 2 billion Bluetooth-enabled units would be shipped in 2013.*)
Dr. Jaap Haartsen is named by the Eureopean Patent Office as the "father of Bluetooth". Haartsen says: "The Bluetooth technology has become thé standard for device-to-device communications. Although challenged frequently, it has become a huge success which I did not foresee. I am very proud and honored being nominated by the European Patent Office because of my patents related to the foundations of Bluetooth."
Dr. Haartsen worked with a team of Ericsson engineers to bring Bluetooth to the market. His closest partner, Sven Mattisson, recalls their assignment: "We were to replace cables, without using more power than a cable – and we talked about pricing at five dollars. Today, we’d be laughed at for that price."
Ericsson has been focusing on research and development activities ever since its dawn in 1800’s. Technology leadership has been supporting the company’s competitive edge and business development. Ericsson engineers wrote the Erlang code language, still used today in chat programs on social media sites and in other programs.
AXE, the first digital switching system, was made from Ericsson’s invention and patents and played a key role in the technology shift from analogue to digital in fixed line communication networks.
Ericsson has been driving cellular communication technology development and has always been a key contributor to global standardization though 2G, 3G and 4G wireless technologies. For example, Ericsson has had the highest impact on the released LTE specification and expects to hold 25 percent of all essential patents in LTE.
The final European Inventor of the Year will be announced on June 14, 2012.
Notes to editors
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