Wibree, an ultra-low-power radio technology, will be taken under the wings of the Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group), which is a consortium of 8,000 companies that develops the Bluetooth Standard. Originating from the stables of Nokia, Wibree operates in the same 2.4 GHz frequency range as Bluetooth and is capable of transmitting data (1Mbit/sec) over short distances (10 meters) using a fraction of the power that Bluetooth would consume.
"What it allows people to do is use their phone to read information from external devices like peripherals such as a watch or a device that monitors [athletic performance] like how fast you're running or how fast your heart is beating. And it communicates it from the device to the phone. It could be stored in the phone or sent someplace else," says Bruederle, a Gartner analyst.
Another application could be a medical device that monitors one's heart rate or another organ and sends that information to a doctor's office so that they can closely monitor one's health in real time, Bruederle told TechNewsWorld.
The technology, initially developed at Nokia in 2001, included contributions from Broadcom, Casio, CSR, Epson, ItoM, Logitech, Nordic Semiconductor, ST Microelectronics, Suunto, Taiyo Yuden Co, and Texas Instruments. The merger of the Bluetooth SIG and the Wibree forum means that the next generation of Bluetooth devices will be all the more pervasive and power efficient.
PC Authority magazine reports that Stuart Carlaw, research director at ABI Research, predicted Wibree would become a US$432m (AUD$514m), 809 million device industry by 2012. "We believe that [Wibree] is a unique technology that can leverage the very positive market position of Bluetooth in segments such as medical, sports equipment and well-being, where the total available market is extremely large and still relatively untouched," he said.
More information is available at:
Nokia takes Bluetooth down to size (SeattlePI)
Nokia's ultra-low-power Wibree joins Bluetooth (ComputerWorld | IDG News Service)
Wibree Bluetooth groups merge (internetnews.com)