Nokia Develops Bluetooth Alternative

Nokia has developed a new wireless technology that is more power-efficient than Bluetooth, which is widely used for wireless connections between headsets and cell phones. The new technology, called "Wibree" was introduced in Helsinki last week. The mobile communications company said Wibree is optimized for applications requiring extremely low power consumption.

Wibree operates in the same 2.4 GHz ISM spectrum as Bluetooth and has a physical layer bit rate of 1 Mbps. Link range is 5 to 10 meters. Little detailed technical information was available on the specification. According to the Wibree Web site, "Wibree link layer provides ultra low power idle mode operation, simple device discovery and reliable point-to-multipoint data transfer with advanced power-save and encryption functionalities. The link layer provides means to schedule Wibree traffic in between Bluetooth transmissions." The radio specification includes a dual mode implementation that enables communication with Bluetooth devices as well as Wibree devices.

Potential uses include small devices like watches and sports sensors. Manfred Wittmeir, senior marketing manager at Epson Europe Electronics said, "Our biggest motivation for Wibree is to utilize our low-power technology in applications for sports, mobile phones, PCs, toys and watches, to mention a few."