Nokia Bluetooths Wibree

Nokia’s Wibree Forum will merge with the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) it was announced late Tuesday.

The Finnish mobile giant first revealed the ultra low power wireless technology, Wibree, back in October 2006, claiming that it would complement the Ericsson-developed Bluetooth.

It would seem Nokia has had little traction with what described at the time of its launch, as Bluetooth lite. This is hardly surprising, with Bluetooth already firmly established as the industry’s favourite short-range, low power data transmitter.

“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, executive director, of the Bluetooth SIG.

Back in March ABI Research predicted a $432m, 809 million device industry for Wibree by 2012. The firm’s research director, Stuart 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 jury seems to be out on whether this ‘merger’ will help Wibree attain a broader acceptance or whether this is simply a case of Nokia throwing in the towel.


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