updated 10:50 am EDT, Tue June 12, 2007
Wibree Joins Bluetooth
The recently developed Wibree wireless standard will now be considered an extension of Bluetooth, its creator Nokia announced today. Initially designed as an alternative, the low-power format will now be merged into the Bluetooth Special Interest Group and become an option for anyone developing Bluetooth devices, letting them use the technology more readily than before. The deal was struck in part because many that already use Bluetooth were looking for a more efficient alternative, Nokia says: Wibree has the same fundamentals but uses only a small fraction of the energy, making it viable for watches and other devices where Bluetooth 1.0 or 2.0 would use too much power.
The announcement should increase the exposure of Wibree, which has been established as an open standard but was expected primarily to reach Nokia devices. The company, however, notes that the adoption of the now unnamed low-power Bluetooth protocol will push back its completion from the second half of 2007 to the first half of 2008. Devices using the format should be available later in 2008 once manufacturers have had time to implement the technology in finished hardware.