The Bluetooth SIG has announced that the Wibree forum, the group specifying the Nokia developed ultra low power wireless technology, will be merged with the Bluetooth SIG.
With this merger, the Wibree specification will become part of the Bluetooth specification as an ultra low power Bluetooth technology, which will be available royalty-free to members via the Bluetooth SIG qualification program.
Bluetooth is consolidating the market by including or referencing other wireless technologies like ultra-wideband (UWB) for high speed applications, near field communication (NFC) for association and now Wibree for ultra low power applications under the well-established Bluetooth profiles.
The ultra low power extension holds an array of opportunities for end users: watches and toys, as well as healthcare, entertainment, and sports and wellness devices can now easily be added to one’s wireless Personal Area Network (PAN). Wibree consumes only a fraction of the power of classic Bluetooth radios, in many cases making it possible to operate these devices for more than a year without recharging.
From the start, Wibree was designed to work with two implementation options – as an easily implemented extension to a classic Bluetooth radio, and as a stand-alone implementation, bringing very low power, sensor-type devices into the fold.
To date, Broadcom, Casio, CSR, Epson, ItoM, Logitech, Nordic Semiconductor, ST Microelectronics, Suunto, Taiyo Yuden and Texas Instruments have contributed to the interoperability specification, profiles and use case definition in their respective areas of expertise and will continue this work in the Bluetooth SIG working groups. New companies, such as terminal, watch and access systems manufacturers are welcome join the finalization of the specification. Once the specification is finalized, the technology will be made broadly available to the industry via the Bluetooth SIG.
The work of integrating the low power technology within the existing Bluetooth specification has begun and the first version of the specification is anticipated during the first quarter of 2008.