Kirkland, Washington, USA – A string of moves to add increasing levels of Bluetooth Smart Ready and Bluetooth Smart technology integration by leading OS providers like Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, and most recently, Google, sets the stage for an extraordinary increase in Bluetooth Smart devices. According to Bluetooth SIG, there was a year on year growth of more than 186% in the first half of 2013 alone.
Apple, Google and Microsoft released upgrades from their respective developer conferences, making it easier for developers to build appcessory devices. The potential for Bluetooth Smart is virtually unlimited as soccer balls, tennis shoes, watches, keyless entry systems, and even beds already utilise the ultra-low power technology.
“The explosion of Bluetooth Smart devices we are currently seeing – from huge brands like Nike, Adidas and Qwikset, to innovative start-ups like Tethercell, Hipkey, 94Fifty, and Pebble – is really just the tip of the iceberg,” said Suke Jawanda, Bluetooth SIG CMO. “Driven by OS support from all the major providers, analysts project a ten-fold shipment increase. Our focus must now turn to providing developers with the tools to make it simple to create Bluetooth Smart products and companion applications.”
Based on record membership and Bluetooth End Product Listing (EPL) growth trends, the Bluetooth SIG fully expects continued growth in the sports and fitness market, along with significant development in home automation and home entertainment, consumer electronics, automotive, and health and medical markets.
Lisa Arrowsmith, Associate Director for Connectivity at IHS, commented: “The announcement of native Bluetooth Smart support in the upcoming 4.3 release for Android adds to the growing list of operating systems supporting this technology, following earlier announcements from Apple, Microsoft and Blackberry. This has a major impact on Bluetooth Smart adoption in smartphone accessories, such as sports and fitness monitoring devices.”
“According to IHS’s Low-Power Wireless Intelligence Service, over 7 million Bluetooth Smart ICs were estimated to have shipped for use in sports and fitness devices in the first half of 2013 alone. Overall, annual shipments of Bluetooth Smart ICs are projected to grow more than ten-fold from this year to 2018, as the technology gains growing traction within a broad range of other applications.”
Jawanda added: “Achieving connectivity across all of these markets is no easy task. To realise the potential of the Internet of Everything, we need an ubiquitous wireless standard with the flexibility to unite new players, new companies and new products never before imagined. Bluetooth is that technology. Quite frankly, I cannot wait to see what comes next”.