June 26, 2015
In this news roundup, we’ve focused on Bluetooth wearable and Internet of Things devices and also threw in a couple of other stories on wearable + IoT connectivity challenges. There’s a lot of potential for Bluetooth 4.0 – a low-energy solution first adopted by Apple in the iPhone 4 and now widely used as the common “language” for health and wearable trackers (as well as IoT devices). But challenges remain, especially for accuracy as wearables start to further penetrate business applications like healthcare.
Read on and share!
Apple boosts Bluetooth development role as wearables take spotlight
“Apple’s move into wearable technology and home automation has prompted it to upgrade its membership of the body governing the Bluetooth wireless networking standard.”
Chip vendors work to make Bluetooth perfect fit for IoT
“Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) has become a key building block for the Internet of Things, and chip makers are working to make it an even better fit by using the technology to further reduce power consumption of devices and helping developers implement it.”
A look into Bluetooth v4.2 for Low Energy Products
“The Bluetooth v4.2 Specification was officially adopted in December of 2014 by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (Bluetooth SIG) and it brings a host of updates to Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) or Low Energy (LE) for short.”
Health, wearables and 5G topics emerge at IMS2015
Electronic Products and Technology
“RF and microwave technologies are driving key developments in wearables, 5G and even health…”
The Struggle for Accurate Measurements on Your Wrist
MIT Technology Review
“The Apple Watch and Microsoft Band use optical sensors to measure heart rate. The Jawbone Up3, which instead tracks your resting heart rate, uses bioimpedance sensors and several electrodes to measure your skin’s resistance to a small amount of electrical current. These sensors and others in the bands are adequate for measuring routine activity levels, but is the technology really accurate enough to turn wearable devices into digital medical tools?”
Rockchip Rki6000 processor for IoT reduces WiFi power consumption by 80%
“According to Rockchip, their new WiFi technology now compares to Bluetooth 4.0 LE in terms of energy consumption, which is simply outstanding. This solves a huge issue, because WiFi connectivity has always been superior to Bluetooth, but we have been using Bluetooth because it used to offer improved energy efficiency. WiFi is stronger, has a longer reach and is a standard form of communication in most products.”
Next Apple Watch extremely unlikely to get FaceTime video calling
“Phone calls through Apple Watch are actually very high quality, largely because its easy to deliver a voice stream without using much network bandwidth. Even basic Bluetooth can deliver decent voice quality conversations, and Apple Watch uses Bluetooth 4.0, which invokes Wi-Fi hardware to speed up data throughput.”
Powering the Internet of Things by Wi-Fi?
“RF-powered devices hold the promise to realize a pervasive vision of the ‘Internet of Things’ where devices may be embedded into everyday objects and can achieve computation, sensing, and communication, all without the need to ever plug them in or maintain batteries.”
And, a little extra just to demonstrate that the wearable industry is just getting started:
Global Wearables Market to Grow 173.3 Percent in 2015, Includes AR/VR Headsets, Says IDC – tom’s HARDWARE
“The wearables market is still in its early days, and we’re far from having established wearables features that people want, let alone an established platform. Competitors such as Google, Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and other smaller players are still throwing all sorts of wearable ideas at the market, hoping something will catch on with consumers.”