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Friday, February 22, 2008

No Need to Wait Wibree, ANT Now Can Link Cell phone to Sensors

Today, ANT announced (Press release) the launch of ANT miniSDIO card solution from a Taiwan company Spectec. The news release also announced the available of a software development kit for Windows Mobile OS 6.0. A demonstration running on Motorola Q phone is mentioned. And the demonstration is able to link to heart rate monitor, foot pod and other sensors on ANT+Sport.

This is definitely a very strategic and proactive move towards Bluetooth ULP (Wibree). With the hype aroused in the industry, the Wibree SIG group has delayed twice of the schedule already since the announcement of Wibree standard. I was told by a reliable resource a month ago that the release of Wibree standard will be likely next Q1. Though there is no further details of the availability date and price, this ANT miniSDIO card solution is certainly much (12 months) closer to commercialization. Another beauty of this solution is that it is not relying on one particular phone. Basically any phone support miniSDIO and Windows Mobile 6.0 is in theory able to adopt this solution.

The price of a miniSDIO card may be high. I wonder it could be as high as a sport watch, but this will not be a problem for those who need this function and the convenience to be able to use cell phone to track personal sports training and health data. The release also mention the plan to develop other forms of SDIO card. I bet the other form is microSDIO which is more popular.

Will this solution a interim solution? Will it disappear when Wibree enabled phones available to the market? It is possible. But this is in the future and who knows how long the future could be ahead. If someone wants to be the leading health or fitness service provider and product manufacturer, ANT provides the solution today.

I like ANT, one reason is because it is from no where but start to success. Have you heard the name of Cochrane before? It is a town, not a city. This miniSDIO card is from a Taiwan company, Spectec, another unknown before.

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