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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

World's first production-ready Bluetooth 4.0 low energy heart-rate monitor

Belt will work with any Bluetooth version 4.0 smartphone or gadget
By Nick Flaherty

Wireless sports & fitness monitoring developer and manufacturer Dayton Industrial has developed a heart rate chest belt that is ready to go into volume production using a Bluetooth 4.0 chip from Nordic Semiconductor.
Nordic believes this will spur the development of brand new Bluetooth low energy smartphone-based health and fitness monitoring apps and motivational social media data sharing
This means anyone that owns a smartphone with the latest version 4.0 of Bluetooth (that includes Bluetooth low energy as a hallmark feature) will be able to set-up and use a wireless heart-rate (HR) belt within seconds and so spur the development of a whole new range of Bluetooth low energy-based health and fitness apps that could include new ways of collecting, interpreting, and displaying HR training data – including motivational social media-based data and progress sharing.
The belt uses Nordic's nRF8001 RF chip that enables the belt to run for up to 1.5 years from a CR2032 coin cell under typical usage conditions (1-hour per day) while featuring an extremely slim (1.1cm-thick) and compact (3.8 x 6.5 cm) plastic sensor housing that supports a soft fabric finished belt product weighing just 46g (less than the weight of two AA batteries).
"This is not only the first Bluetooth low energy product Dayton Industrial has developed but also the slimmest wireless heart-rate belt we have ever produced," said Johnson Chan, Product Engineering Manager at Dayton. "We have partnered with Nordic Semiconductor for many years and will continue to do so as we roll out further brand new Bluetooth low energy sports & fitness product platforms in the future."
Over half the ULP heart-rate belts shipped globally last year were manufactured by Hong Kong-based Dayton (as measured by sales revenue and according to InMedica, a division of IMS Research).
"Heart rate monitors are one of the first and most sought after use cases for Bluetooth low energy," said Geir Langeland, Nordic Semiconductor's Director of Sales & Marketing. "This Dayton product platform will now sit alongside established ANT+ interoperable HR belt products and other non-interoperable proprietary alternatives, and give consumers an even wider choice when it comes to monitoring their heart rate and so support an even more vibrant HR monitoring market with solutions for everyone."
Bluetooth low energy (now a hallmark of the latest Bluetooth v4.0 specification) has been designed from the outset to extend Bluetooth wireless connectivity to compact, coin cell-powered devices such as sports & fitness monitors. Nordic has been at the forefront of the group that defined the Bluetooth low energy specification since becoming a foundation member of Nokia’s Wibree Alliance in 2006 and the Alliance became part of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) in June 2007.
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