The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced that the Wibree Forum, the group specifying the Nokia developed ultra low power wireless technology, will be merged with the Bluetooth SIG.
The Wibree specification will become part of the Bluetooth specification as an ultra low power Bluetooth technology. Because Wibree addresses devices with very low battery capacity and can be easily integrated with Bluetooth technology, it will round out Bluetooth technology’s wireless Personal Area Networking (PAN) offering and strengthen the technology’s ability to provide wireless connectivity for smaller devices.
Wibree’s development started at the Nokia Research Center in 2001. It was announced to a broader audience in October of 2006 and Nokia stated its intention to incorporate the technology and its current forum into an open, preferably existing industry forum to ensure Wibree’s wide adoption.
To this day 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 definitions of Wibree in their respective areas of expertise and will continue this work in the Bluetooth SIG working groups. Several new companies will 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.
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.
Wibree’s ultra low power extension will allow watches and toys, as well as sports and wellness, healthcare and entertainment devices to be easily added to one’s personal area network. This opens a new range of mobile possibilities for end users. Wibree consumes only a fraction of the power of classic Bluetooth radios. In many cases it makes it possible to operate these devices for more than a year without recharging.
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 half of 2008.