The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) this week finalized standards (the Running and Cycling Speed and Cadence specifications) that will allow the interoperability of Bluetooth-enabled fitness sensors with other devices such as watch, smartphones, etc.
“Historically, sports and fitness sensors capable of tracking speed and cadence relied on proprietary technology, limiting their reach and functionality. The Running S&C and Cycling S&C profiles unlock these sensors, allowing companies to build products that can connect with the tens of millions of Bluetooth Smart Ready devices already in the market, and the hundreds of millions on the way in the coming quarters,“ said Suke Jawanda, chief marketing officer at Bluetooth SIG.
Bluetooth v4.0 low energy technology can already be found in products like the Nike+ FuelBand, Nike+ Basketball and Training shoes, Polar heart rate monitors, Wahoo fitness devices, etc.
ABI Research forecasts shipments of Bluetooth enabled sports and fitness devices will grow ten-fold from 2011 to 2016, reaching 90 million units at the end of the period.
In the sport and fitness market Bluetooth low energy is competing against ANT+ technology. The fast adoption of Bluetooth v4.0 in smartphones is a trend that ANT+ will have difficulties to fight as also confirmed by a report from IMS research (read here).