Wibree - Nokia's new wireless initiative
In what initially appeared to be a rather
low key announcement, Nokia today presented its Wibree
initiative to develop a standard for allowing small
devices to talk to other devices in the vicinity over
a wireless link.
You might be thinking isn't that
what Bluetooth does? and you'd be right. Wibree
is parked firmly in Bluetooth's front yard and intends
to be an answer to many of Bluetooth's perceived weakness.
Essentially, Wibree is designed to be
a much lower power solution than Bluetooth. This can
lead not only to longer battery life, but also will
enable small devices such as toys, sensors and
wristwatches communicate with larger devices such as
mobile phones and computers. Although companies such
as Fossil make Bluetooth
compatible watches, they tend to be plagued with
poor battery life.
Nokia says that Wibree will support
devices up to 10 metres away, at a transfer rate of
up to 1 Mbps per second, although the latest Bluetooth
specification allows for up to 3 Mbps and an absolute
maximum of 100 metres of range. Nokia are hoping
that the first version of the Wibree specification will
be finalised in Q2 2007, so Wibree-enabled products
are still a little way off.
In mobile phones and computers, Wibree
will be able to use some of the same electronic circuitry
as Bluetooth. This means that Wibree can be implemented
quite cheaply for "dual mode" devices. Of
course, smaller devices will be Wibree only.
It's important to note that Wibree isn't
a standard - it's a technology promoted by Nokia along
with several partners such as Broadcom, Epson and Nordic
Semiconductor, but Nokia are promoting it as an open
technology, so the chances of Wibree succeeding are
good. It could well be that Wibree will be the Next
Wibree? What does that mean?
don't know where the "Wibree" name, but today
is probably the last chance you'll ever be able to Google
for it without being swamped. Google throws up just
a handful of results for Wibree (click the image to
the right to see them), only one of which is relevant
which is wibree.org - note though that the official
Wibree site is wibree.com.
In fact, the domain name was only registered on 15th
Presumably the Wibree name is related
to "Wire Free". One the other hand, Bluetooth
is named after Harald
I of Denmark who helped to unify the Danish people.
would have been a more apt name.. but then, that's marketing
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