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Saturday, March 8, 2008

Low Power Consumption Connectivity of Adidas and Samsung's SGH-F110 miCoach

The announcement of Adidas and Samsung's miCoach phone SGH-F110 has created more noises in the market though it is two weeks later than ANT's miniSDIO solution. One reason is for sure because of the two top consumer brands, and the second would be the completeness of the solution, from sensors, phones to web service. However, the advantage is also the disadvantage, as the solution is tied to one phone and single service provider without interoperability. Choices is an important feature in today's consumer market, unless the product is so outstanding from competitors, as iPod vs. other MP3 players. I do not see this solution has iPod's kind of "charisma".

Enough for marketing, now let's turn to the technology for the low power connectivity. This story again proves that Wibree or Bluetooth ULP is late to the market. While the specification is still in draft in the closed cabinet, some companies already lose their patience. While before this case is the Nike + iPod solution.

I am more curious about what the real technology is used for the low power connectivity. Here is my guess, it is a proprietary protocol on top of 802.15.4. Why:

1. It is not any public standard like Bluetooth or Zigbee, otherwise it will be listed.
2. It is not Zigbee also because the heart rate monitor and foot pod have a long battery life on coin cell,
3. Korean like Zigbee somehow. I believe Samsung has a lot of experiences. This is also the reason I exclude ANT as an option.
4. Many 802.15.4 based proprietary protocols have claimed to be able powered by coin cell

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