Merger advances Bluetooth technology

13 Jun 2007

Ultra low power Bluetooth technology will become a reality within a year as Nokia announced the merging of the Wibree Forum, a group handling Nokia’s low power wireless technology, with the official body for Bluetooth standards.

Wibree, which came out of the Nokia Research Centre in 2001, is a short-range digital radio technology very much like Bluetooth and is designed to compliment its applications.

Marrying these groups and technologies together is hoped to encourage development of smaller devices that consume lower power.

“Our members have been asking for an ultra low power Bluetooth solution. With Nokia’s innovative development and contribution to the Bluetooth specification with Wibree we will be able to deliver this in approximately one year,” said Michael Foley, executive director of Bluetooth SIG.

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), founded in 1998, has industry members including Microsoft, IBM, Ericsson, Nokia and Motorola.

Bluetooth technology is centred around providing a wireless personal area network (PAN), which has applications in headsets and keyboards, as well as lifestyle products like the recent snowboard jacket from Motorola with built-in stereo radio.

Wibree began as an extension to the original Bluetooth radio but has the possibility of bringing Bluetooth to areas like healthcare that rely on longer battery life.

“We believe Wibree is a unique technology that can leverage the very positive market position of Bluetooth technology in segments such as medical, sports equipment and wellbeing, where the total available market is extremely large and still relatively untouched,” said Bluetooth research director Stuart Carlaw.

By Marie Boran