In 2001, researchers at Nokia determined various scenarios that contemporary wireless technologies did not address.[9] The company began developing a wireless technology adapted from the Bluetooth standard which would provide lower power usage and cost while minimizing its differences from Bluetooth technology. The results were published in 2004 using the name Bluetooth Low End Extension.[10]

After further development with partners, in particular Logitech and within the European project MIMOSA,[a] and actively promoted and supported by STMicroelectronics since its early stage,[b] the technology was released to the public in October 2006 with the brand name Wibree.[13] After negotiations with Bluetooth SIG members, an agreement was reached in June 2007 to include Wibree in a future Bluetooth specification as a Bluetooth ultra low power technology.[14][15]

The technology was marketed as Bluetooth Smart and integration into version 4.0 of the Core Specification was completed in early 2010.[16] The first smartphone to implement the 4.0 specification was the iPhone 4S, released in October 2011.[17] A number of other manufacturers released Bluetooth Low Energy Ready devices in 2012.

The Bluetooth SIG officially unveiled Bluetooth 5 on 16 June 2016 during a media event in London. One change on the marketing side is that they dropped the point number, so it now just called Bluetooth 5 (and not Bluetooth 5.0 or 5.0 LE like for Bluetooth 4.0). This decision was made allegedly to "simplifying marketing, and communicating user benefits more effectively".[18] On the technical side, Bluetooth 5 will quadruple the range by using increased transmit power or coded physical layer, double the speed by using optional half of the symbol time compared to Bluetooth 4.x, and provide an eight-fold increase in data broadcasting capacity by increasing the advertising data length[clarification needed] of low energy Bluetooth transmissions compared to Bluetooth 4.x, which could be important for IoT applications where nodes are connected throughout a whole house.[19]

The Bluetooth SIG released Mesh Profile and Mesh Model specifications officially on 18 July 2017. Mesh specification enables using Bluetooth Low Energy for many-to-many device communications for home automation, sensor networks and other applications.[20]
In 1945, Léon Theremin invented a listening device for the Soviet Union which retransmitted incident radio waves with the added audio information. Sound waves vibrated a diaphragm which slightly altered the shape of the resonator, which modulated the reflected radio frequency. Even though this device was a covert listening device, rather than an identification tag, it is considered to be a predecessor of RFID because it was passive, being energized and activated by waves from an outside source.[4]

Similar technology, such as the IFF transponder, was routinely used by the allies and Germany in World War II to identify aircraft as friend or foe. Transponders are still used by most powered aircraft. Another early work exploring RFID is the landmark 1948 paper by Harry Stockman,[5] who predicted that "... considerable research and development work has to be done before the remaining basic problems in reflected-power communication are solved, and before the field of useful applications is explored."

Mario Cardullo's device, patented on January 23, 1973, was the first true ancestor[6] of modern RFID, as it was a passive radio transponder with memory.[7] The initial device was passive, powered by the interrogating signal, and was demonstrated in 1971 to the New York Port Authority and other potential users. It consisted of a transponder with 16 bit memory for use as a toll device. The basic Cardullo patent covers the use of RF, sound and light as transmission media. The original business plan presented to investors in 1969 showed uses in transportation (automotive vehicle identification, automatic toll system, electronic license plate, electronic manifest, vehicle routing, vehicle performance monitoring), banking (electronic checkbook, electronic credit card), security (personnel identification, automatic gates, surveillance) and medical (identification, patient history).[6]

An early demonstration of reflected power (modulated backscatter) RFID tags, both passive and semi-passive, was performed by Steven Depp, Alfred Koelle, and Robert Frayman at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1973.[8] The portable system operated at 915 MHz and used 12-bit tags. This technique is used by the majority of today's UHFID and microwave RFID tags.[9]
Many of the techniques of digital image processing, or digital picture processing as it often was called, were developed in the 1960s at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bell Laboratories, University of Maryland, and a few other research facilities, with application to satellite imagery, wire-photo standards conversion, medical imaging, videophone, character recognition, and photograph enhancement.[2] The cost of processing was fairly high, however, with the computing equipment of that era.

That changed in the 1970s, when digital image processing proliferated as cheaper computers and dedicated hardware became available. Images then could be processed in real time, for some dedicated problems such as television standards conversion. As general-purpose computers became faster, they started to take over the role of dedicated hardware for all but the most specialized and computer-intensive operations. With the fast computers and signal processors available in the 2000s, digital image processing has become the most common form of image processing and generally, is used because it is not only the most versatile method, but also the cheapest.

Digital image processing technology for medical applications was inducted into the Space Foundation Space Technology Hall of Fame in 1994.[3]
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