Feeds

Nokia extends Bluetooth into low power applications

New handsets to feature six radio technologies

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Nokia has launched a new wireless standard to add to the short-range wireless mix.

Wibree borrows much from Bluetooth including frequencies and antennas, but lowers the power consumption to make it more applicable for devices with low-bandwidth requirements such as embedded sensors and user interface devices – mice and keyboards.

More particularly, Wibree devices have extremely low idle-time power consumption, making it ideal for devices which spend a great deal of time sitting around doing nothing: such as a typical mouse, or a watch which can display caller-ID. Bluetooth can be used in these applications, but consumes a comparatively large amount of power.

Nokia foresees devices such as mobile phones supporting both Bluetooth and Wibree, with both technologies sharing chips and antenna, while a mouse or wristwatch would only support Wibree with a corresponding increase in battery life. By designing the standard as an adjunct to Bluetooth the cost of adding it should be tiny, though it is unlikely to be much cheaper than Bluetooth to implement alone.

Bluetooth SIG global marketing director Anders Ediund said Nokia has been in talks with the company for some time about incorporating the Wibree technology into the Bluetooth standard. Such an arrangement seems likely and could be necessary for Wibree to be widely adopted, assuming they can come to an agreement. The first version of the Wibree standard is scheduled to be published around May next year, so it will be a few years before we see handsets supporting it - but when they do it will take the radio count on a Nokia handset to six.

Starting with 3G connectivity for telephony, along with Wi-Fi on some models at least, Bluetooth will provide for medium-range connections including headsets and car kits, and supporting WiMedia when a high-speed connection is needed. Wibree will provide for low-power-medium-range connections to embedded sensors, while NFC (Near Field Communications) is used for very short range applications such as proximity payments or setting up other connections. Add in an FM radio and you hit seven.

Notably absent from this list are Zigbee and Z-Wave, both of which are targeted at just the kind of application Nokia wants to see Wibree doing. Nokia has signed up to neither technology, so its launch of a competitor makes sense, though both Zigbee and Z-Wave already have deployed products, so are significant competition.

Announced by anyone other than Nokia this would be just another standard going nowhere, but with such a power-house behind it Wibree could well take on Zigbee and Z-Wave.

Nokia now needs to sign up some component manufacturers beyond the launch partners - Broadcom, CSR, Epson, and Nordic Semiconductor - to demonstrate that there is industry-wide support for Wibree and it isn't just a Nokia initiative. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE accused of silencing customer gripes on social media pages
Hello. HELLO. Can EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE HEAR ME?!
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?