Ultra low power (ULP) RF specialist Nordic Semiconductor ASA today announces that specialist smartphone fitness company, Wahoo Fitness, is launching the world's first Bluetooth® low energy bike speed and cadence monitor - the Wahoo Blue SC - that employs a Nordic µBlue™ nRF8001 Connectivity chip that can also uniquely track a bike's lifetime mileage. This product announcement follows Wahoo Fitness launching the world's first commercially-available Bluetooth low energy heart-rate belt in January this year.

The Wahoo Blue SC is immediately compatible - using a Wahoo fitness app - with the iPhone® 4S and newest (third) generation iPad that both support Bluetooth v4.0 wireless technology that includes Bluetooth low energy as a hallmark feature. The Wahoo app can also take advantage of many of the inherent features of the iPhone 4S and iPad including GPS mapping to track routes, for example, and the ability to automatically upload recorded bike data to a user's preferred training website.

It is expected that the vast majority of new smartphones and tablets will support Bluetooth v4.0- the latest specification version of the wireless technology. Wahoo is also making it iOS API (application programming interface) available to all interested app developers and says it plans to develop similar APIs for other operating systems and product platforms.

The Wahoo Blue SC comprises three parts: a main sensor unit that mounts on a bike's frame between the pedal and rear wheel, a crank magnet that tracks cadence each time it passes this sensor, and a rear wheel spoke magnet that tracks speed and distance each time it passes the sensor (each wheel rotation corresponding to a distance travelled equal to the circumference of the bike's tire within a given time from which the bike's speed can also be calculated).

In operation, the Nordic nRF8001's class-leading ULP performance enables the Wahoo Blue SC speed and cadence monitor to run for up to 18 months from a regular 3V CR2032 coin cell battery under typical usage (three rides a week) conditions.

"With the totally unique lifetime mileage feature - or bike odometer - we are giving users the option to transform their iPhone into a bike computer without need of any extra equipment beyond downloading the free Wahoo Fitness app," comments Molly Andruszkiewicz, Director of Marketing at Wahoo Fitness. "And this second Wahoo Bluetooth low energy product will be followed by a whole range of other sports and fitness devices later this year."

Mike Stashak, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Wahoo Fitness adds: "By making our API open to all interested app developers, we confidently expect to see a wave of Bluetooth low energy and Bluetooth Smart sports and fitness sensors and apps for the iOS to start arriving over the coming months. And we intend to extend our API to other smartphone and tablet operating systems and platforms in the future."


Posted by Sara Cohen, Editorial Intern

June 18, 2012