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Sports Equipment Technology

Next Generation Fitness Gadgets Syncing to Bluetooth-Enabled Devices

August 30, 2012


In today’s wireless world, almost every technological device can be connected via Bluetooth technology. This ranges from smartphones to TVs, laptops, and even a car’s infotainment system.

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), which oversees the development of Bluetooth standards and the licensing of the Bluetooth technologies and trademarks to manufacturers, has set the standard for the next generation fitness gadgets. These standard-based protocols will coerce manufacturers of fitness gadgets to create products that are more likely to sync with a wide array of existing Bluetooth enabled gadgets. Presently, products are specific, which means only some are compatible with certain Apple (News - Alert) devices.

There are two certifications from Bluetooth SIG that apply to running and cycling, both of which affect data such as speed, cadence, and distance transmitted to paired devices like sports watches or smartphones enabling calorie counts. With Bluetooth, companies can implement the latest tools for measuring such data.

"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, Bluetooth SIG.

Currently, the fitness and sports market is enjoying a “significant momentum” in growth. Nike + FuelBand, Polar heart rate monitors, and other popular devices have already adopted baseline standard protocols as a means for connecting fitness data back to other Bluetooth-enabled devices such as smartphones.

Experts predict that these new standards will clearly hasten the development of wireless-enabled fitness devices. In fact, it’s believed that demand for Bluetooth-enabled fitness and sports devices will increase ten-fold between 2011 and 2016 according to ABI Research (News - Alert).

In addition, IMS Research believes that there is a bright future for medical devices leveraging this technology. In a report, they predicted that 4.7 million Bluetooth Smart-enabled consumer medical devices will ship in 2016.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Rich Steeves