Bluetooth is in just about every mobile device we can think of and the new Bluetooth 4.0 version available in many new devices including the iPhone 4S and 5 has a low-power feature that makes it ideal for use in portable devices like wearable fitness gadgets. Here’s our list of some Bluetooth devices we think are pretty cool:
Sphero from Orobotix Rolls Around on CommandSphero ball with an Android or iOS app through a Bluetooth connection. The ball is strong enough for someone to stand on and there’s a fun augmented reality game you can play with it too.
Fitness ProductsAt this year’s CES we noticed a trend in fitness products that involved wearable devices and Bluetooth. The new low energy feature in Bluetooth 4.0 allows devices to use very little power in idle mode which is ideal for everything from wearable fitness devices to the coming wave of smartwatches. The GOW Trainer from Weartech puts a heart rate monitor in a T-shirt and adds an app to help monitor your exercise activities. Nike has announced three athletic shoes that include pressure sensors that sends “performance” data to a Nike+ Training app.
A handful of wristband fitness monitors including the Fitbit Flex, Larklife, Nike Fuel, Jawbone Up and others, track your activity and even sleep in conjunction with an app that helps you get into shape.
Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy Technology Smart ProductsHere’s a short video from the Bluetooth SIG that explains how their new low energy feature could be used in many applications. Bluetooth is calling devices that include laptops, tablets, smartphones and other gadgets“ that use this new technology including a single-mode low energy radio “Smart” products. This technology is going to be at the core of a new wave of wearable computers that will include everything from cyborg glasses to something like the rumored Apple iWatch.
Watches That Do More Than Tell TimeIn addition to its sensors for barometric pressure, temperature elevation and more, the Garmin fenix watch also interacts with a smartphone through Bluetooth to share data. The Casio G-Shock GB-6900 Bluetooth Low Energy Smart Watch can interact with an app on your smartphone. It can vibrate or provide a visible sign to alert you of a call or event among other things. It’s available in Japan now and expected in Europe and North American soon.
Bluetooth SpeakersBefore A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) was introduced Bluetooth couldn’t provide very good quality audio but now A2DP-enabled devices can send and receive high quality audio over Bluetooth. Our friends at CNET put together this roundup of some of more popular Bluetooth speakers.
Gadgets the Help You Find ThingsBluetooth devices can come in handy for broadcasting their location to a smartphone or tablet. Stick-N-Find discs attach to any device and send out a ping to help their app zero in on anything from a TV remote to something larger. Find My Car Smarter was a Kickstarter project (reviews are mixed) that uses Bluetooth 4.0. It’s a small USB device that plugs into a USB car charger and sends out a “mark this location” to your smartphone so you can find your car when in case you forgot where you parked it.
A Well Connected Light BulbCombine some multicolored LEDs, an app and through in Bluetooth and you have a mult-color light bulb that can be controlled with your tablet or smartphone. Zsmart will be shipping their 9-watt Mood LED bulb on May 30th. You’ll be able to change color, brightness and turn the bulb on and off using the app.