(Premium) Gist of Science Reporter Magazine: October 2012

Gist of Science Reporter


Q. Bluetooth

Ans. Bluetooth is a short-range wireless technology that allows computers, phone and other devices to talk to each other over short distances (up to 100 meters). Bluetooth uses radio waves (in the 2.4 Gigahertz range) and is designed to be a secure and inexpensive way of connecting and exchanging information between devices such as mobile phones, laptops, PC’s, PDAs, printers, digital cameras, mouse and keyboards. Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth are the wireless hotspots in today’s time and are almost 20 times faster than the earlier versions. With the latest technology of Bluetooth (version 2.0), devices can hence achieve data transfer speeds up to 2 or 3 Mbps (megabits per second).

Why the name Bluetooth? The name comes from the ancient King Harald Blatan of Demark (Blatan in Danish translates to “blue tooth” in English). Sweden-based telecom company Ericsson developed the technology and was cofounder in 1998 of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group Governing body (www.bluetooth.com). Bluetooth is also standardized as an IEEE wireless personal area network.

Q. What is Global Positioning System?

Ans. Global Positioning System, or GPS, is one of the most widely used technologies in the communication world. GPS navigational systems are supported by a network of 27 satellites, which orbits the Earth in acyclic pattern every twenty four hours. At any given time, signals from a minimum of four satellites are accessible to any one point on Earth. Whenever a receiver device is activated, radio waves are sent out. A receiver’s exact location is determined through a process called triangulation where three satellites work together to track down possible location points, while a fourth satellite compiles the data ad picks out the exact location. Distance
calculations are made based on how long it takes the radio signals to travel back and forth between the receiver and the satellites.

A GPS tracking system uses the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) network. This network includes a range of satellites that uses microwave signals that are being transmitted to GPS devices to give information on location, vehicle speed, time and direction. So, a GPS tracking system has a potential to provide the real time and past navigation data on any kind of journey. Location tracking by providers in case of an emergency and giving navigation directions are other uses of this technology in mobile phones. A mobile phone also work like a two-way radio when communicating with the cell phone towers and the GPS capability of phones simply extends the radio signals to reach out to the space satellites.

The receiver device can be located inside the phone itself, or the user can use a wireless connection like a Bluetooth connection. Mobile phones work on Java-based programs and have database access to their provider’s  system. The mapping capabilities are displayed on the phone’s screen via the cellular provider’s database. The accuracy of these maps depends on how frequently your provider updates the database.

Q. What do you understand by IMEI Number?

Ans. IMEI Number is something all mobile users should be aware of. IMEI is the acronym for International Mobile Equipment Identity. This code is a unique number associated with every mobile phone and can help us to find our stolen cell phone easily. We can find our mobile phone’s IMEI number by dialing the sequence *#06# into the phone. The unique 15-digit IMEI code of the mobile phone will be displayed instantly. Note this number down and keep it in a secure place so that you can find it in case your phonies misplaced or stolen. You can also find the IMEI number by checking themetallic plate under the battery, after making sure that power is switched off. In case your mobile phone gets lost or stolen, you can inform yours network provider who can then put the IMEI number on a shared database. This will prevent that particular phone from being registered on any network. Thus, it will be useless for a thief even if the mobile phone’s SIM card is changed. And then, by the use of GPS, the phones could be tracked. This IMEI number is also required to unlock the mobile phone and get it working once it is found.

In case your mobile phone doesn’t have the IMEI number then you are in trouble! The Department of Telecom (DOT), Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India has direct cell phone operators to disconnect mobile phone handsets without legitimate International Mobile Equipment Identify (IMEI) number from 1 December 2009. This has been done to counter threats to national security, as many crimes have been aided by phones that cannot be easily tracked. So check that cannot be easily tracked. So check your cell phone and replace it if it does not have a proper IMEI number to prevent misuse of your phone.