Ultra-low power is being added to the features of short-range Bluetooth technology. The ultra low-power Wibree technology developed by Nokia Corp. will become part of the Bluetooth specification under an agreement reached by the Wibree Forum and the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), the Finnish mobile phone maker said Tuesday. Bluetooth has been used mostly to connect larger devices such as headsets, keyboards and mouses to stereos and PCs and with the help of Wibree, the technology will be able to connect much smaller button-cell battery-powered devices, like watches or sensors attached to a user's body. Wibree uses the same 2.4GHz frequency as Bluetooth.
"We look at this as an addition to the Bluetooth family of specifications, enabling a new class of devices that Bluetooth isn't really suitable for today," said Michael Foley, executive director of Bluetooth SIG. In October 2006, Nokia's research arm announced the development of Wibree and establishment of an industry forum, including Broadcom Corp. and STMicroelectronics NV, to define a specification. But after forming, the companies -- many of them members of Bluetooth SIG -- favored having ultra low-power devices supported in Bluetooth, according to Harri Tulimaa, head of Nokia Technology Out-Licensing. "They didn't want to complete an entirely new technology," he said.