Low energy watch that wirelessly communicates with smartphones offers long coin-cell battery life
The nRF8001’s class-leading ultra-low power performance enables Casio’s prototype watch to benefit from the advantages of Bluetooth wireless technology while offering a similar battery life to a conventional Casio wristwatch. As such the Casio watch prototype can run from a single conventional CR2032 button-cell watch battery for up to two years, while providing up to 12-hours per day of continuous wireless communication with any Bluetooth v4.0-equipped smartphone or other device – due to start arriving later this year.
Bluetooth low energy has been designed from the outset to extend Bluetooth wireless connectivity to compact, coin cell-powered devices such as watches. By ensuring interoperability with Bluetooth v4.0-equipped devices such as smartphones (which will start to appear on the market later this year), conventional wristwatches now have the potential to be equipped with an expanding range of brand new wireless features that could create a new growth segment within the traditional wristwatch market.
Casio’s Bluetooth Low Energy Watch prototype shown at CES demonstrated some of the new functionality that Bluetooth low energy will support, including:
Incoming call and message (including e-mail) alerts on the watch;
The ability to stop ring alerts from the watch;
The ability to locate a misplaced phone by activating the alarm and vibration functions of a smartphone from a button-press on the watch;
Time and date-synchronization from smartphone to watch (ensuring the watch always displays the correct date and time – even across different times zones).
“From 1974 when Casio released its very first digital wristwatch, we recognized that long battery life was crucial for end-user convenience and so commercial success,” explains Etsuro Nakajima, Senior Manager within the Timepiece Division of Casio. “Now, thanks to Nordic Semiconductor’s technology, our customers will soon be able to wear a Bluetooth low energy-enabled Watch every day like a regular wristwatch without having to worry about frequent recharging cycles."
"We know Nordic Semiconductor is a pioneer of ultra-low power wireless connectivity and its expertise in this technology is evident in the power consumption performance of the nRF8001 that was superior to other Bluetooth low energy chips we assessed. This performance allowed us to develop our Bluetooth Low Energy Watch prototype and offer the same battery life from a conventional coin cell as one of our existing watches.”
Casio is encouraging enquiries from potential partner companies seeking to develop applications compatible with smartphones and other household devices in market segments such as sports and fitness, health, home entertainment, security (e.g. panic alarms), and remote monitoring.
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