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Summary:

As if there weren’t enough short range wireless standards to consider, Nokia announced a new one today called Wibree (not to be confused with South Korea’s Wibro), which the company says is more energy efficient than Bluetooth. The technology can be used in conjunction with Bluetooth, […]

As if there weren’t enough short range wireless standards to consider, Nokia announced a new one today called Wibree (not to be confused with South Korea’s Wibro), which the company says is more energy efficient than Bluetooth. The technology can be used in conjunction with Bluetooth, or on its own. If it turns out to be significantly cheaper and more efficient than Bluetooth, than it could possibly replace Bluetooth for certain applications, though some think there will be little overlap.

Companies have been trying to figure out the best way to wirelessly connect devices like digital cameras, mouses, keyboards, and cell phones for some time. Ultra-Wideband, UWB, which is supposed to be low power and high data, has seen constant delays. Zigbee hasn’t seemed to gain much traction and is aimed more at sensor networks. Bluetooth has landed on a substantial amount of smart phones and headsets, but hasn’t done as well for other devices. Maybe Nokia, in partnership with other companies like Broadcom, will be able to get more of a consensus on this standard. Do we need another short range wireless standard?

  1. I wonder why Nokia is going the proprietary standards way whereas the whole industry is moving towards open standards! It is on course for a head to head clash with the Wireless USB standards (backed by Intel).

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  2. On the one hand it’s true that there are a lot of short range radio initiatives and standards out there, so why another one now?
    On the other hand a lot of them have their problems that limit applicability, high power consumption, awkward user experience, security, seeing constant delay (UWB) or not having the crucial amount of backing from big ticket players.
    Nokia might be able to cover all of those things. THeir R&D knows about power constraints, user experience is something they have experience in, security – well we’ll see, they felt some bashing regarding Bluetooth viruses on S60 devices, so perhaps they learnt something -, the crusial backing is there when covering above 30% of the handset market and the propriatery approach allows to go faster than a through standardization.
    One has to wait and see (and observe).

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  3. Ah yeah, just an add-on to the previous comment. There have been a lot of search engines before Google, too. Not that I expect Wibree to have half teh impact Gogle had, but good execution allows to come in at a later stage in the game.

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  4. Wibree…

    What are the best sites for information on Nokia’s Wibree, a new rival to Bluetooth wireless technology? We’ve started with these. What else should be here?
    1. Nokia Introduces Wibree Technology As Open Source Initiative – October 3, 2006 p…

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  5. Nokia loves to pull this kind of crap. Way back at the end of the 90s there was a pretty big push to get everyone to start usings standard 2.5 mm jacks for phone headsets. Nokia joined in for about 6 months and then reverted back to their proprietary ways — soon most others also abandoned the effort. Nokia loves the 2-$3/accessory they make too much to embrace open standards for the sake of the user. Now that Bluetooth is getting commodidized and it is harder to make good margins on headsets, I’m not surprised Nokia is feeling restless.

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  6. There’s no need for yet another wireless standard. I really think that Bluetooth (at least for phones) has hit critical mass and it’s adopted by non-geeks.

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  7. It appears that people mix apples and oranges.

    WUSB is 480mbps, 3-4mt range (110mbps at 10mt), power is low per bit but high in terms of actual consumption. You can turn it on for a few seconds, copy the whole files and that is it.

    This new thing is very low power, you can turn it on for hours and you would not suffer from the power consumption.

    UWB and this one address different segments of the market. What we are seeing actually is with the introduction of CMOS radios, it is easier and cheap to create niche standards (i.e. radios) target dedicated applications. There is a market for low bit rate, low power wireless standard and here it is. People are actually not asking the key question. Will other key players follow? I.e. Samsung, SEMC, Mot etc. If they do this is good. CSR is a Nokia puppy, Broadcom commands more respect but not enough. Cheers, Batu

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  8. Yehudah Goldstein Thursday, October 5, 2006

    Zigbee, Wibree… stupid names

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  9. Hiya

    I’m a masters Student Working on the Project based on Wibree … The Concept behind my project is to forsee Nokia’s new technology (Wibree) … I have Visited few of their websites but i don’t get a proper technical definition of the Portocol … Can Someone Kindly suggest me any websites where i can aquire approriate information.

    With regards

    Pradheep

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  10. It’s not exactly Nokia’s bluetooth. Nokia is making Wibree an open standard. And it’s different enough to NOT be called bluetooth.

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