Bluetooth inventor Dr Jaap Haartsen, a former Ericsson employee, has been nominated as Inventor of the Year by European Patent Office in the industry category for its European Inventor Award.

Bluetooth, a low-energy, peer-to-peer wireless technology was born in an Ericsson lab in Lund, Sweden in the 1990s and became a global standard of short distance wireless connection.

When the technology celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2008, the number 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. In fact, an Instant research report predicted last year that 2-billion Bluetooth-enabled units would be shipped in 2013.

Dr Haartsen comments: “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 $5.00. Today, we’d be laughed at for that price.”

The final European Inventor of the Year will be announced on June 14, 2012.