According to the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, the number of new devices equipped for its low-power ‘Bluetooth Smart’ technology has reached record levels. The number of product listings for Bluetooth Smart Ready devices and Bluetooth Smart accessories has grown by more than 186% year-on-year to the first half of 2013.
‘Bluetooth Smart’ describes a product that collects information, transmits it via Bluetooth v4.0 and can run for many months on a tiny battery. Smartphones and tablets referred to as ‘Smart Ready’ can connect to either standard Bluetooth or Bluetooth Smart low-energy accessories.
Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry and Google have all committed to supporting Bluetooth Smart devices in their mobile operating systems.
Suke Jawanda, Chief Marketing Officer of the Bluetooth SIG, said “The explosion of Bluetooth Smart devices we are currently seeing – from huge brands like Nike, Adidas and Qwikset, to innovative startups like Tethercell, Hipkey, 94Fifty, and Pebble – is really just the tip of the iceberg. Driven by OS support from all the major providers, analysts project a ten-fold shipment increase. Our focus must now turn to providing developers the tools to make it simple to create Bluetooth Smart products and companion applications.”
A recent report from IHS estimated that over 7 million Bluetooth Smart ICs had shipped for use in sports and fitness devices in the first half of 2013.