I thought Apple might have introduced a line of fitness monitors last week, based on Bluetooth 4.0 (Low Energy). The first device to get Bluetooth 4.0 was the iPhone 4S, which came out last year. Bluetooth Smart sensors can operate for months or even years on tiny, coin-cell batteries.
Apple did introduce a Bluetooth 4 (Low Energy) enabled iPod nano ($150). It includes Nike+ support and a pedometer built in, so there’s no need to use a shoe sensor to track your steps and calories burned. Still, embedded Nike+ sensors in their new line of shoes can track all kinds of data – and sync to your Bluetooth phone or iPod.
Synching iPod nano to nikeplus.com lets you track your daily activity and goals and monitor your fitness progress.
Bluetooth technology has is already being used by products like the Nike+ FuelBand, Nike+ Basketball and Nike Training shoes, as well as Polar heart rate monitors, and other devices that connect directly to Bluetooth phones, watches and hubs.
Nike’s new high-tech sneakers, which went on sale June 29, are the first shoes with Bluetooth Smart sensors in them. Previously, Nike used the ANT+ standard for sensors, which required a plug-in iPhone module.
The Fitbit One and Fitbit Zip activity trackers, announced this week, have Bluetooth 4.0 support. An updated iOS app will allow both new Bluetooth Smart devices to synchronize directly with the iPhone 4S, third-generation iPad, and new iPhone 5. The Android app, like the iOS app, is being updated with a more complete view of your data but it does not allow for direct device synchronization.
The Blutooth Special Internet Group has released two new Low Energy certifications for health and fitness devices. The two new standards groups are for sensors that will measure elements such as running cadence, stride length, total distance, as well as cycling speed, distance and pedal cadence.
So maybe interoperability still needs to be worked out. At some point, health and fitness monitoring will break out – especially when a full featured Bluetooth Low Energy hub costs $150 or less.
Juniper Research predicts by the year 2014, there will be a total of 2.7 million annual mobile health monitoring events globally, generating some $1.9 billion at the end of 2014.
Related Dailywireless articles include; Real-time Running and Biking Apps, Bluetooth Bike and Fitness Sensors Get Smart , Polar Ships Bluetooth 4 Heart Monitor, HTC One S: Android 4 & Bluetooth Low Energy and FCC Okays Medical Body Networks, Wireless Control Expands Reach, Texting Clogs Cycling GPS Trackers at Olympics, Wireless Health Initiatives, Medical Devices Mobilize, Apps Enter the Twilight Zone, Mobile Health: Fast Growth , Open Source Tricorder and Mobile Health: Alive and Well.