The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has finalized standards that it hopes will accelerate the proliferation of Bluetooth wireless technology sensors that measure speed and cadence for running and cycling activity.
Made possible by Bluetooth v4.0 low energy technology, the recently approved standards will enable the next generation of Bluetooth Smart fitness devices. Companies can now quickly implement Bluetooth Smart sensors in sports devices to instantaneously transmit data such as running cadence, stride length, total distance, or cycling speed, distance, and pedal cadence to Bluetooth enabled devices like smart phones, sports watches, and cycling computers.
Bluetooth technology already has significant momentum in the sports and fitness market, making it possible for products like the Nike+ FuelBand, Nike+ Basketball and Training shoes, Polar heart rate monitors, and many more to connect to the Bluetooth ecosystem.
The new running and cycling standards will accelerate growth in this space. By allowing manufacturers to use standards-based protocols, the new profiles give companies the opportunity to quickly create innovative products that can connect to the vast array of Bluetooth enabled hub devices.
ABI Research, Inc. forecasts shipments of Bluetooth enabled sports and fitness devices will grow ten-fold from 2011 to 2016, totaling 278 million and representing over 60 percent of the total available market. According to ABIís Jonathan Collins, principal analyst in telematics and M2M technologies, this is being driven by the trend to move away from proprietary solutions and toward Bluetooth Smart devices.