Inventor Spotlight: Jaap Haartsen

C4IP is celebrating Jaap Haartsen, whose invention of Bluetooth wireless technology has helped integrate electronic devices seamlessly into our daily lives.

  • Haartsen was born in 1963 in The Hague, Netherlands and began his career at Siemens and Phillips before earning his Ph.D. from Delft University and moving to Swedish company Ericsson.
  • His first breakthrough in Bluetooth came in 1994, while he was working to develop technology for short-range radio connections.
    • After making several improvements to the technology, Ericsson finally applied for a patent for Bluetooth in 1997.
  • Haartsen formed the Bluetooth Special Interest Group the following year as a way to coordinate Bluetooth implementation among large electronics companies such as IBM, Nokia, Toshiba, and Intel.
  • Haartsen’s invention has become a critical part of modern life: Bluetooth capabilities now appear in 98% of all new speakers as of 2023, 90% of new smartphones by 2027, and 87% of new cars.
    • The global market for Bluetooth was estimated at over $4 billion in 2022, with almost 5 billion devices shipped annually, and 6 billion Bluetooth-enabled devices are expected to be shipped annually by 2027.
    • Innovative companies continue to develop new applications for Bluetooth – including acting as a key for cars and homes and tracking everyday items.
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