Bluetooth SIG Pushing Low-Energy Tech With Fitness-Minded Working Group - HotHardware
Bluetooth SIG Pushing Low-Energy Tech With Fitness-Minded Working Group

Bluetooth SIG Pushing Low-Energy Tech With Fitness-Minded Working Group

Bluetooth devices have been playing an increasingly important role in our lives, and with BT 3.0 and BT 4.0, low-energy devices are getting in on the fun as well. Now, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) is announcing the creation of the Sports and Fitness Working Group, and members are being accepted as we speak. This group will work together to enhance interoperability between Bluetooth enabled sports and fitness sensor products and training computers (Bluetooth Smart devices) and hub devices such as smartphones, PCs, TVs (Bluetooth Smart Ready devices), gym equipment, watches and more to allow a new generation of functionality.

Fitness devices have exploded in recent years, with even Apple addressing it with Nike+iPod support. No longer are these devices for nerds only; they're so sophisticated that they're going mainstream. Bluetooth v4.0 with low energy technology gives any device, from a static data-collecting sensor to a laptop or tablet, the ability to connect, share and distribute information in real-time. No other wireless technology is able to provide the limited energy consumption, usability, functionality and install-base that Bluetooth v4.0 brings to the sports and fitness market.


Bluetooth SIG member company, Mosoro, has announced a Bluetooth Smart sensor that connects to a golf club and can instantly send information about the player's golf swing to a smartphone for real-time feedback on how to improve. In 2011, Motorola introduced the MOTOACTV, a Bluetooth Smart fitness watch that can support low energy devices - like a heart rate sensor, can receive alerts from your phone, and even stream music through Bluetooth enabled ear buds. Fitness giant, Nike, recently introduced its Nike+ FuelBand, a wristband that uses Bluetooth technology to automatically sync with your smartphone to let users easily track and analyze physical activity.

These unique products are a few examples of how sports and fitness devices are being made better with Bluetooth technology and just the beginning of what users can expect to see in this market. IMS Research forecasts more than 60 million Bluetooth enabled sports, fitness and health monitoring devices will ship between 2010 and 2015 including over 17.7 million heart monitors, more than seven million sports watches and over two million speed and distance monitors.

Registration for the Sports and Fitness Working Group and Sports and Fitness Bluetooth Ecosystem Team (BET) are open to Bluetooth SIG Associate and Promoter members. Members are encouraged to join either or both of the groups. Those interested in distilling and prioritizing key scenarios and identifying ways to make products better with Bluetooth technology should join the BET. Members interested in working directly on the specification itself should join the Working Group.
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I'm all for technology that will help to increase physical activity levels in people. One of the drawbacks I think of though is the accuracy of such devices. Calorie burn will differ for person to person based on a number of factors (muscle mass, metabolism, etc.) and that could mess with the goals of some people. I do like the design of some of these monitors and hope people use it as a means to have a general estimation of daily activity.

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