Tag Archives: bluetooth

Bluetooth SIG to enhance IoT functionality in 2016

Bluetooth SIG

Bluetooth Technology to Gain Longer Range, Faster Speed, and Mesh Networking in 2016

Bluetooth SIG focuses 2016 technology roadmap on enhancements for IoT. 

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) is previewing highlights from its 2016 technology roadmap. Planned enhancements for the technology are focused squarely on increasing its Internet of Things (IoT) functionality. Key updates include longer range, higher speeds and mesh networking. The host of Bluetooth advancements coming in 2016 will further energize fast-growing industries such as smart home, industrial automation, location-based services and smart infrastructure.

“There is significant demand from our members and the industry at large to enhance Bluetooth with the new capabilities we’re announcing today,” said Toby Nixon, chairman of the Bluetooth SIG Board of Directors. “Current projections put the market potential for IoT between $2 and $11.1 trillion by 2025. The technical updates planned for Bluetooth technology in 2016 will help make these expectations a reality and accelerate growth in IoT.”

Announced updates will provide a variety of benefits for the growing number of IoT applications. For example, the range of Bluetooth Smart, set to increase up to 4x, will transform smart home and infrastructure applications, and will deliver an extended, more robust connection for full-home or outdoor use cases. A 100% increase in speed, without increasing energy consumption, will enable faster data transfers in critical applications, such as medical devices, increasing responsiveness and lowering latency. And mesh networking will enable Bluetooth devices to connect together in networks that can cover an entire building or home, opening up home and industrial automation applications.

“The Bluetooth technology roadmap is a powerful expression of our mission to continue as a catalyst for industry innovation,” said Mark Powell, executive director, Bluetooth SIG. “Bluetooth has been adopted by countless developers and manufacturers as their connectivity solution of choice for the IoT. The new functionality we will soon be adding will further solidify Bluetooth as the backbone of IoT technology.”

Bluetooth SIG member tools, like the recently launched Bluetooth Developer Studio, and training programs will be updated to ensure strong developer support for these new IoT features. Additional features and profile updates contained in the 2016 roadmap will be previewed in the coming months.

About Bluetooth® Wireless Technology

Bluetooth wireless technology is the global wireless standard enabling simple, secure connectivity for an expanding range of devices and serves as the backbone of the connected world. Bluetooth Smart technology, through an updatable platform and low power consumption, creates new application opportunities for the mobile phone, consumer electronics, PC, automotive, health & fitness and smart home industries. With nearly three billion devices shipping annually, Bluetooth is the wireless technology of choice for developers, product manufacturers, and consumers worldwide. Backed by industry leading companies, the Bluetooth SIG empowers over 27,500 member companies to collaborate, innovate and guide Bluetooth wireless technology. For more information, please visit www.bluetooth.com.

Source: Bluetooth SIG

Bluetooth sensors constantly check car tire pressure, send alerts

Just replace the valve caps on your tires with these Fobo Tire sensors making a run on Indiegogo and you’ll always know when your tires need a burst of air.
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“Always check your tire pressure.” It’s something parents teach kids during early driving lessons, and it’s something most kids quickly forget.

Now, a new invention making a run on Indiegogo could play the role of a nervous parent for thousands of drivers out there by continuously monitoring tire pressure and relaying that information via Bluetooth to a smartphone or in-car receiver.

The device is called Fobo Tire, a name that made no sense to me until I asked one of the creators what “Fobo” means. “Fobo means ‘for our better world,'” said Jonathon Ho Chang Tih, senior manager of Salutica (the Malaysian company making the device). Ho indicated that the last “O” comes from the second letter of the word “world.”

To use the Fobo system, drivers would unscrew the little black caps on their tires’ fill valves and replace them with round Fobo tire sensors. Each sensor continuously monitors the pressure in its assigned tire, then uses Bluetooth to relay that information via smartphone app or to an in-car receiver. Because Bluetooth is a low-energy technology, the creators say the sensors will last about two years before the batteries need to be changed.

“The sensors work 24/7,” Tih told Crave. “When it detects a flat or deflated tire, it will send out Bluetooth signals continuously alerting the user of flat tire. As long as user is within the typical Bluetooth range of 10-30m (depending on surrounding walls, etc.), the smartphone will pick up the alert signal.” If a user is out of range, the alert will sound when he approaches the car and prevent him from driving a potentially dangerous vehicle.

What about theft of the sensors? That’s a question that’s come up quite a bit in the forums on Fobo’s Indiegogo page. The creators say that if the sensors get stolen, they won’t work with another system, but that didn’t seem to allay everyone’s fear. So the Fobo folks are working on a lock nut that can only be removed with a special wrench that will help make the sensors as theft-proof as possible.

Maintaining properly inflated tires can not only improve gas mileage, and keep treads from wearing out prematurely, it can keep vehicles safe. “Incorrect tire pressure will compromise cornering, braking, and stability,” says the website of NPR’s “Car Talk” show. “And in the worst-case scenario, improper tire pressure can lead to tire failure — and a serious accident.”

Source: CNet

Bluetooth Padlock Turns Your Smartphone Into a Wireless Key

There will probably never be such a thing as “the perfect” lock, but a new Bluetooth padlock seems to come pretty close.

Noke (pronounced “no key”) is a padlock that, once paired with your iOS or Android device, automatically unlocks when it senses you’re near.

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Although we know about devices like the August smart lock for doors, Fuz Designs, the makers of the Noke, claim that its device is the first Bluetooth padlock.

Housed in a tough, water-resistant casing, the 8-ounce device contains a replaceable battery that lasts a year and on its surface features an LED light to indicate when the lock is in operation.

But unlike some Bluetooth devices, there’s no need to pull out your smartphone and fumble with it in order to get the lock to operate. As long as you’re within 10 feet of the lock and your phone is enabled, the lock will automatically open (a feature that can be disabled if you want to more tightly control its unlocking mechanism).

Additionally, if you somehow forget to carry your smartphone with you, you can also program a unique series of long and short taps on the lock’s shank to get it to open.

But what takes the Noke into truly “smart” lock territory is that it allows you to give a “key” to a number of different users who can be given unlimited access to the lock, or time-limited access, all controllable via smartphone app.

The team behind the Noke are looking to raise $100,000 via Kickstarter and have already raised almost $60,000 with 30 days to go. Priced at $59 for early adopters (it will sell for $89 at retail), the Noke is scheduled to ship to buyers in February of 2015.

Source: Mashable

Sun bracelet measures UV exposure and sends warnings via bluetooth

French company Netatmo has developed a bracelet designed to protect you from the sun.

It is not sold in traditional jewellery shops – instead they are selling it through Apple Stores, and online.

The June device communicates via Bluetooth with your mobile device, to give alerts about how much sun you are being exposed to.

The BBC’s Dougal Shaw tried out the device during one of the hottest days in July (the 18th) in the UK – and kept a video diary.

He also met up with Raphaelle Raymond of Netatmo to quiz her about the device.

 

Source: BBC

71% of Telefonica’s customers want to use connected cars according to a new study

The term Connected Car has been a buzzword within the automotive industry for several years, but the big question is – are consumers ready? Research released today suggests they are. According to a study by Telefónica, there is sufficient global demand for connected car services, with more than 70 per cent of drivers surveyed saying that they are interested in using, or are already using, connected car services.

In fact, around half of consumers now consider connected features, such as inbuilt connectivity and the ability to plug in a smartphone, a key part of their next car purchase. Features such as increased safety, early warning systems and smarter navigation are cited as the most popular, with almost three-quarters (73%) of drivers listing safety and diagnostics features as the most important.

The findings have been unveiled as part of Telefónica’s Connected Car Industry Report 2014 featuring independent primary research and contributions from six of the world’s largest car manufacturers. The report builds on some of the topics covered in Telefónica’s inaugural Connected Car study from 2013 which predicted that that the number of vehicles with built-in connectivity will increase from 10 per cent of the overall market in 2013 to 90 per cent by 2020. This second report provides insight, from a driver’s perspective, into the car industry’s biggest transformation in over a century, detailing the opportunities, challenges and predicted trends for the sector.

Key trends identified by the report include:

1. There is sufficient global demand for connected car services, with 71% of drivers surveyed saying that they are interested in using, or are already using, connected car services.

2. 80% of consumers expect the connected car of the future to provide the same connected experience they are used to at home, at work and on the move via their mobile phone.

3. Across all markets surveyed, there was clear consensus about the three features most in demand: increased safety, early warning systems and smarter navigation. Almost three-quarters (73%) of respondents chose safety and diagnostics features as the most important, giving a clear indication of the areas they would expect connected services to focus in the future. Usage-based insurance models are also very popular, with 54% of UK drivers choosing it one of the connected car features they would be most interested in.

4. On average 35% of drivers expect not to own their own car by 2034, and instead predict they will be using alternative options such as car sharing services

5. The dashboard is the favoured way for accessing connected services, particularly for safety, navigation and vehicle diagnostics, with more than 60% of respondents across all markets preferring to access features in this way.

6. Drivers in different countries will prefer to pay for connected services in different ways. Most Spanish drivers would prefer a one-off payment (49%) while those in America, Germany and the UK would favour basic connectivity with the option to choose additional services. Brazilians are split between the latter and a full-on PAYG model, suggesting a degree of flexibility not seen in other countries.

Pavan Mathew, Global Head of Connected Car at Telefónica commented: “Through looking at the connected car from a driver’s perspective, it’s clear that the demand for connected services in cars is unquestionable. Even though we’re just moving off of the starting line, people are ready for it and know what they want. But challenges to widespread roll-out remain.

“Many consumers currently think of connected car services in terms infotainment and WiFi, but this changes when they are made aware of the variety of options that the technology can offer. Safety and diagnostics appear to be the most attractive features to drivers, illustrating just how important factors such as road safety and vehicle maintenance are in consumer purchasing decisions.

“We can expect to see a gradual creep of connectivity into vehicles over the next few years but there won’t be an explosion over the next 12 months,” said Mathew. “The reason for this lies in the complexity of the challenges that connectivity is trying to address.

“While OEMs still have a way to go before they break out of their traditional role as a manufacturer and become a full, connected service provider, they certainly have a strong, trusted base to build from.”

Earlier this year Telefónica announced an agreement with Tesla, to provide connectivity for the Tesla Model S in Europe.

Industry quotes

Telefónica’s report includes quotes and insight from industry experts including the following:

“Autonomy obviously has implications for car ownership, and as a 110-year-old company we’re obviously taking our heritage extremely seriously as we look forward to the next 100 years. But over the next decade I think we’ll see autonomy overshadowed slightly by the use of smart materials in vehicles. Things like materials that deflect water, refract light or change colour. And then beyond that I think we’ll start to see some very cool stuff around nano electro-mechanical materials where you could start doing things with self-forming circuitry and self-morphing materials. These advances start to change our perceptions of how form and substance are influenced by the environment, overhauling what we understand about the current dimension of physicality.” John Ellis, Global Technologist and Head of the Ford Developer Program, Ford

“We are seeing a drive from consumers to actually have the same level of connectivity in the car that they would have whilst walking down the street, whilst sat in their front room, whilst sat on public transport. So just because they are spending two, three hours a day in a car, they don’t want to be disconnected from their normal life.” Ian Digman, General Manager, Nissan

“I see a huge expansion beyond legacy telematics such as vehicle health reports, safety and security, crash notifications into active safety and automated driving aspects. I also think vehicle-to-vehicle communication is going to grow very quickly in the next five years. The beauty of that technology is that the communication protocol can be used for a host of other services beyond vehicle communication, so it benefits the wider infrastructure too.” Henry Bzeih, Chief Technology Strategist, Kia

“For us it comes down to the things that make the car a better vehicle. When we talk to customers about connectivity they say well it’s a car and so what I need it to do are the things I bought a car for. They want it to be safer, more intelligent and more economical. Connectivity is a chance for OEMs to look at how we can help to reduce costs for customers and make cost of ownership lower by giving advice on how to drive more fuel efficiently, or helping you find the lowest cost source of fuel or the most efficient route. Can I, by providing data for things like usage based insurance or pay as you drive insurance, can I save you money on insurance?” Greg Ross, Director of Product Strategy and Infotainment, GM

Source: Telefonica

Samsung introduces ‘LED smart bulbs’

Samsung is bringing a bright idea to market.
bulb4n-1-web

The South Korean tech titan on Tuesday unveiled a new Bluetooth-enabled light bulb that can be controlled via a smart device like a phone or tablet.

The light from the Samsung Bluetooth Smart LED can be dimmed to users’ liking, or adjusted for color ranging from warm white to cool white, the company said.

Users can also preset the bulb so that it brightens for when you want to wake up and darkens at bedtime.

The network can control up to 64 bulbs, said Samsung, which is demonstrating the product this week in Las Vegas.
Source: NY daily news

Vanhawks Introduces the First Smart, Connected Bicycle

Vanhawks today announced the launch of Valour, the industry’s first smart carbon fibre bicycle built for commuters with safety, comfort, and connectivity in mind. Their Kickstarter campaign for connected bike Valour goes live today.

The Valour is connected to iOS, Android and Pebble through Bluetooth and tracks
rider statistics in real-time including the route, distance, speed, and time. Valour’s
LED handlebar indicators are connected to the smartphone’s GPS navigation and
give riders turn-by-turn directions, reducing the distraction of having to look at a
smartphone screen. The Valour also includes, the industry’s first sensor-driven
blind spot detector, which alerts the rider of any object in their blind spot through
haptic feedback in the handle bar grips. Stairuse Web

Valour’s onboard sensors monitor ride statistics in real-time and syncs the data with the Vanhawks app.

The route data gathered by the sensors will also let the riders know where the safest routes are. Every Valour is connected to each other through mesh-network, and is alerted when one goes missing, aiding in its recovery.

“With so many people turning to bikes to commute and get around town, safety is a
rider’s primary concern,” said Sohaib Zahid, co-founder and CEO, Vanhawks. “With
Valour, we want took the great invention of the past – the bicycle – and combined it
with the great invention of our time – smart phones – to create the safest ride. We
want to change the way people think about urban commuting and the Valour bike
offers an easy, safe and green option.”

The commute is difficult, and Valour is carefully constructed to combat even the
most strenuous ride. The bicycle is crafted to prioritize human ergonomics and is
designed to relieve pressure on your back muscles, spine and buttocks, without
compromising the frame’s strength.

The frame of the bike is developed from carbon fibre using proprietary technology
which makes internal walls to reinforce critical load bearing points in the frame. Its
carbon fibre technology, which was the finalist of the BIKEEXPO brand new award,
mimics the construction of human bones, making the bike frame strong enough to
withstand the roughest roads of a city. The Valour weighs 16 pounds, giving users
unmatched portability – for example, it’s light enough to carry up flight of stairs
without breaking a sweat.

“The Vanhawks technology is fundamentally changing the bike industry in so many
ways.” said Ian Jeffrey, General Manager, FounderFuel. “We’re excited to see Valour
hit the road and reinvent the riding experience of millions around the world.”

To view the bike in action click here. 

Source: Vanhawks Press Release

Magellan Selected for Hertz NeverLost 6 platform

 Navigation Solutions, a Hertz Company and developer of the award-winning NeverLost in-car GPS system, and Magellan, a leader of innovative GPS devices and content services for vehicles, fitness, outdoor and mobile navigation, announce the selection of Magellan as the exclusive manufacturer for the NeverLost 6 platform, Hertz’s next generation of connected services, which will be integrated into Hertz vehicles in 2014.

The NeverLost 6 platform features include:

  • ARM Cortex-A9 architecture with quad cores running at 1.0GHz
  • 5.7″, 4:3 square aspect ratio, high resolution, brightness and contrast TFT display
  • GSM and GPRS protocol stack with 3G release 4 compliant technology
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity module
  • GPS module built upon the SiRFstarIV™ architecture
  • A number of other off board components such as Keypad, LCD, camera module, Accelerometers and Gyros sensor board and etc. will connect through a flex cable

 

“As a long-time partner and a pioneer in the automotive navigation industry, Magellan was a logical choice for the Hertz NeverLost 6 platform,” commented Roger Stevens, president, Navigation Solutions. “Hertz prides itself on being the fastest and easiest car rental company and NeverLost is key to Hertz offering its customers flexible mobility solutions. Rental customers want useful navigation content, and popular travel services. Magellan’s SmartGPS Eco offers the right combination of relevant content and integration capabilities with the NeverLost 6 platform.”

In addition, Navigation Solutions has selected Magellan’s SmartGPS Eco for integration in Hertz vehicles in 2014. The Magellan SmartGPS Eco is the latest advancement in Magellan’s cloud based connected car services that delivers content saving drivers time and money, provide safer navigation and keep them informed with location and social content.

The Magellan SmartGPS Eco is a cloud based platform aggregating location and social content. It leverages the cloud for location intelligence, and personalization. Drivers can choose the content they want, and it is all displayed simultaneously in a standard HMI.

“Navigation Solutions is the GPS innovation leader in the rental car industry. Magellan is delighted to continue our long standing partnership with Navigation Solutions for the Hertz NeverLost program,” said Peggy Fong, president of MiTAC Digital Corporation. “We are proud to have Hertz NeverLost as a customer for the launch of our SmartGPS Eco services. The SmartGPS Eco aggregates unlimited content, which is then personalized based on driver preferences and location. Each driver gets the right content, at the right place, at the right time.”

Source: Magellan

Gecko Bluetooth enabled remote that makes your smartphone even smarter !

Playing the part of motion detector and temperature sensor, it’s the must-have remote control for your smartphone.

Gecko

Gecko is a clever new gadget created by technologists in India. It’s a Bluetooth enabled remote that can control your smartphone.

You can program Gecko so certain actions, such as shaking it, will skip to the next track on your iTunes, or turning it upside down could make an emergency call. In terms of safety and feeling secure when out and about, this little gadget could potentially save a lot of people from harm.

You can also link it to your camera to take photos remotely, rather than straining your arms to take the perfect selfie or setting the timer and running, which can leave you flustered to reach your destination and position in time.

One of Gecko’s most impressive features is that it can be used as a motion detector. It can be clipped onto your dog’s collar so you can know if it escapes from the back garden. It also has a tracking function can also let you find your misplaced smartphone.

If all this wasn’t enough, it also features a built-in ambient temperature sensor, which can monitor the temperature in your home and will send your smartphone an alert when it gets too hot or cold. This is a great idea, whether you’re monitoring the temperature in the bedroom of your elderly relatives or your children, it can ease the task of looking after those around you.

The device can be funded and bought for an early bird pledge of at least $20 on Indiegogo.

Source: Kate Heslop/CBR-online

Muscle Power and Bluetooth-technology used to control electronics

Armband Taps into Muscle Power to Control Electronics

MYO Computer Armband - Source: www.medgadget.com

Myo is the world’s first gesture-controlled armband, an innovative new piece of technology that harnesses electrical activity in your muscles to control computers, phones and other electronics via Bluetooth.

Developed by Thalmic Labs in Waterloo, Ontario, the Myo armband uses electrical activity from your muscles in your arms, as you move your hand, sensing the motions and rotations and then sends the command to the device. This electrical activity is plugged in wirelessly over Bluetooth to various different electronic or digital devices.

The stretchable device is a one-size-fits all armband that’s made with light material so as to be as comfortable as possible for the wearer. The Myo’s creators claim that it could completely revolutionize the way we interact with technology.

Its uses are broad, from controlling our TVs and smartphones to operating machinery. The armband has great potential for the latter, allowing users to control equipment from a distance or while in dangerous terrain. This could prove particularly safe, while also productive, in construction sites or similar environments.

Source: Jonathan Keane/Industry Tap