Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), the more than 8,000-company strong trade association responsible for advancing Bluetooth wireless technology, and Nokia today 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 announcement, 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. Wibree 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.
"By including or referencing other wireless technologies like ultra
wideband for high speed applications, near field communication (NFC) for
association and now Wibree for ultra low power applications under the
well-established Bluetooth profiles, we are opening up a host of new
applications and functionality while keeping the user experience
consistent," said Michael Foley, Ph.D., executive director, Bluetooth SIG.
"Our members have been asking for an ultra low power Bluetooth solution.
With Nokia's innovative development and contribution to the Bluetooth
specification with Wibree, we will be able to deliver this in approximately
"The development work for Wibree began when we discovered a series of
interesting new use scenarios that no current local connectivity solution
was addressing. Now we are happy new market opportunities and space to
innovate for the industry," said Jarkko Sairanen, Vice President of
Corporate Strategy for Nokia. "Including Wibree within an existing forum
will ensure interoperability and its wide and fast adoption. The Bluetooth
SIG is the optimal new home for Wibree."
To this day Broadcom, Casio, CSR, Epson, ItoM, Logitech, Nordic
Semiconductor, ST Microelectronics, Suunto, Taiyo Yuden Co., Ltd. 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,
including device, watch and access systems manufacturers 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.
"Nokia's contribution of its Wibree technology into the Bluetooth SIG as
the basis for ultra low power Bluetooth specifications will continue to
enhance the consumer experience of connecting to anything and anyone from
anywhere with Bluetooth wireless technology," said John R. Barr, Ph.D.,
chairman of the Bluetooth SIG board of directors. "This new technology, as
the basis of a wide range of ultra low power devices, is a commendable
advancement in Bluetooth technology."
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
The Bluetooth SIG recognized the potential of Wibree to enhance current
Bluetooth use cases around the mobile phone and PC by bringing very low power,
sensor type devices into the fold. The 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. Thanks to its innovative design,
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
By leveraging Bluetooth technology's high consumer awareness (86 percent
globally), the Bluetooth SIG's large membership and proven development and
qualification programs, the ultra low power solution will be integrated faster
and at a lower cost to the industry and consumers. As stated in his March 2007
ABI Research Short Range Wireless Service, Research Director Stuart Carlaw
predicted a US$ 432 million, 809 million device industry for Wibree by 2012.
Carlaw said, "We believe [Wibree] is a unique technology that can
leverage the very positive market position of Bluetooth technology in
segments such as medical, sports equipment and well-being, where the total
available market is extremely large and still relatively untouched."
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.
Cheers ~ Arne