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What is Wibree?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 29 October 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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As electronic technology continues to evolve, newer and better solutions become available. A recent innovation is the Wibree, which is meant to open up a whole new world of applications for the interface between computers and mobile devices and a number of the electronic battery powered instruments that many people use daily. Here is some background on the development of the Wibree and how its application may enhance the way we live.

Essentially, Wibree represents the latest in open wireless technology that can create a connection between such devices as laptops and hand held communications devices such as a Bluetooth® and the small batteries found in watches, wireless keyboards and gaming sensors. The concept of such a technological advance first began with research at Nokia during 2001. With an eye toward expanding the potential service options available with wireless communication, the direction for the project was to develop a low power solution that would allow connection with a number of devices. Along with the concept of expanded uses and low power requirements, there was also the desire to keep the changes to existing Bluetooth® technology at a minimum.

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The earliest results of the research and development at Nokia were announced in 2004. Opening up the project to other partners, Nokia launched the first public release in October 2006. It was at this point that the brand name of Wibree was assigned to the new offering. Working with Bluetooth® SIG members, Wibree was formally included in all Bluetooth® equipment beginning in June 2007.

Wibree offers two enhancements of note. First, there is the lower usage of power that is necessary to drive the functions associated with Wibree. This translates into longer battery time and less frequent sessions spent in re-charging. Second, the radio frequency for communication between devices will be more squarely in the middle of the radio standard band with Wibree enhanced devices than is currently the case with some hand held devices. The result is less chance of a break in connectivity during use.

Some detractors have stated that Wibree was intended to replace Bluetooth® altogether. This is not the case. Wibree is designed to take advantage of the existing components of Bluetooth® and simply expand the capabilities. The result is devices that are more compact, and will allow full functionality. While bigger than a wristwatch, the Wibree empowered devices will be smaller than previous releases of Bluetooth®, and also use less power as well.

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