It all started when my electric toothbrush ground to a halt with a disturbing noise and I went shopping for a new one. “Blue” was everywhere.
What does “Blue” mean? A lovely blue sky comes to mind. “Blue Monday” is another familiar phrase. “Are you feeling blue? I’m so sorry.” How could anyone at all familiar with technology or business or even Jeopardy forget that “Big Blue” is synonymous with IBM. Now comes Bluetooth. OK, I understand that this is relatively recent technology. It is a method of communicating data or sound wirelessly over short distances (under 30 feet). But, where in the world did the name ‘Bluetooth’ come from? According to Wikipedia:
Jim Kardach, who developed a system to enable cell phones to talk to computers, proposed the idea of this name in 1997. At the time, he was reading F. G. Bengtsson’s historical novel The Long Ships about Vikings and King Harald Bluetooth who united Danish tribes into a single kingdom. The implication is that Bluetooth unites communications into one universal standard. How King Harald got the nickname of ‘Bluetooth’ is disputed. It might or might not have had anything to do with his teeth.
What does any of this have to do with my shopping trip?
Right there on the store display was a “Bluetooth enabled toothbrush.” If I turn on my smart phone while I brush my teeth, I will be told: Minutes of Brushing, Frequency of Brushing, A warning if I am pressing too hard, and a readout of helpful oral hygiene tips. OMG! My mother is hiding in my cell phone and watching me brush my teeth.
It was very expensive and very creepy. I did not buy it. However, I did buy a new (non-communicating) electric toothbrush. It works just fine. My dentist will approve. Interestingly, all of the packaging and the device itself are in a brilliant shade of blue.