Posts Tagged ‘Bluetooth Low Energy’
You may not realize it, but there’s a small war brewing in the sports and fitness industry. The combatants are ANT+ and the newer Bluetooth Smart technology. Since it’s introduction in 2010, ANT+ (which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Garmin) has been the technology of choice for various fitness gadgets ranging from heart rate monitors to foot pods. The technology allows for the collection, automatic transfer, and tracking of sensor data. In other words, it’s the reason the heart rate strap on your chest can communicate with the heart rate monitor on your wrist.
However, Bluetooth Smart, which uses less power than ANT+, is quickly gaining traction and according to a recent report from IMS Research, it will overtake ANT+ as the technology of choice for fitness gear by 2016.
We’ve already started seeing gadgets using the new technology. Among the heavy hitters supporting Bluetooth Smart are Wahoo Fitness, Motorola, and Nike. Smartphones are also expected to side with Bluetooth Smart (the Motororla DROID RAZR and Apple iPhone 4S are among the more popular handsets.) Read the rest of this entry »
The Verge reports “Apple wants to see a new wave of app-based accessories using the new Bluetooth Low Energy profile in Bluetooth 4.0, with a particular focus on next-generation health and fitness gadgets like the FitBit Ultra and Jawbone Up.”
BLE is a feature in Bluetooth 4.0—the latest version of the wireless radio-based technology that connects two devices over a short distance, such as between cell phones and headsets—designed for low-power and -latency applications. It allows devices that utilize the protocol to realize long, continuous operation before a recharge.
Along with the ANT+ protocol, the medical community and health care-related industries have taken an interest in BLE and designing products around (more about BLE in health care explained here). But, if Apple, a major, influential player in the electronics industry, is throwing its support behind it, BLE could become standard across the board.
There are no further details or timeline, according to The Verge, but the site notes that while the iPhone 4S already supports Bluetooth 4.0, it could be some time before an abundance of products show up on shelves.
[Via The Verge: Apple preps iOS accessory makers for Bluetooth 4.0; not using Bluetooth for AirPlay]
Heart rate monitors are great devices that truly can aid and improve training. But I’m one who has been called “heartless” and it has nothing to do with my sinister demeanor. It has to do with the fact that traditional RF based heart rate monitors just don’t work well with me. This happens to some of us, and it is downright annoying.
But now The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has announced the finalization of two new developer specifications for connected vital sign monitoring devices that will make use of the short range wireless technology. The specs call first for a health thermometer profile, and more importantly for me, a heart rate profile
Both of these will be part of the upcoming Bluetooth 4.0 release, and will feature Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) as well as increased transfer speeds. SIG has also noted that Bluetooth could enable connectivity in medical device technology that provide vital sign monitoring and interaction with wireless devices, including Bluetooth 4.0-enabled smartphone.
Recently Dayton Industrial unveiled a heart-rate monitor that will leverage Bluetooth 4.0, and this low energy heart rate chest belt features energy efficiency technology that the company claims will enable it to run an average of 1.5 years on a single coin cell. That’s a real plus, because while I might not be so heartless I am pretty cheap!
Dayton Industrial Official Website