Wibree, Bluetooth: Together At Last

Loraine Lawson

You might say we're a "Wibree" closer to a standard for tiny wireless devices.


Since Bluetooth is something of a power hog, it can't really be used in smaller devices, such as watches, heart monitors, pedometers or even toys. Obviously, there are lots of reasons why we'd want wearable devices talking to cell phones, such as ... well, I personally can't think of any, but I'm sure the concept would be totally marketable and useful.


So, Nokia created Wibree, an ultra-low-power technology with a lower data transfer rate. Wibree will enable small, wearable devices to communicate with other gadgets.


Nokia introduced Wibree last year and decided to share the technology to achieve broader adoption. And it seems that plan has worked - the Bluetooth special-interest group has agreed to use the Nokia technology as the basis for an ultra-low-power Bluetooth standard, according to reports from Reuters and The Associated Press.


It seems the Wibree devices won't be backward compatible with existing Bluetooth devices, but experts say it should be relatively easy to make the two standards talk going forward.


Wibree can transmit signals up to 30 feet between devices. Just think of what this could mean for staging battles with G.I. Joe dolls...err..., "action figures."

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