Nokia's Wibree links up with Bluetooth

The consortium behind the Bluetooth wireless standard announced that Nokia is contributing a technology that promises to bring the wireless connections to devices that are too small for regular Bluetooth chips, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said the technology, called Wibree, opens up the possibility of a host of small wearable gadgets, like watches, heart rate monitors, pedometers and pill boxes that communicate with Bluetooth-equipped cell phones or computers.

Wibree has a lower data rate and much lower power consumption than Bluetooth, which is in widespread use as the interface between cell phones and wireless headsets, the report said.

Nokia started developing Wibree in 2001, and announced the technology in October last year, the report added.

It formed a Wibree Forum with other companies to license and exploit the technology, an effort that will be subsumed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, which includes about 8,000 companies.

The decision by the Bluetooth SIG to embrace Wibree validates Nokia's technology, but it also means the Finnish company is giving away the results of a multiyear development effort as Wibree will now be licensed royalty-free, the report further said.