One of the main objectives behind Bluetooth was that it be very frugal with its use of power. Apparently that goal wasn’t ambitious enough and we now have a new “Low-Energy” Bluetooth standard which aims to reduce power consumption even more.
To the best of my knowledge, no “host-devices” (such as phones) exist which support this new specification, but that’s not stopping Casio: they’re getting in the “Bluetooth watch” game.
Bluetooth watches are nothing new, Sony Ericsson, Fossil, and Citizen have all had their go. I even own two Sony Ericsson Bluetooth watch-like devices, the LiveView and the MBW-150 — one is on my wrist as I write this story.
The problem has been with how Bluetooth works, it’s designed to send fair-sized amounts of data. A watch, on the other hand, doesn’t need all that bandwidth, and has a fairly small battery. Casio says Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) solves those problems.
“Taking advantage of the low power consumption of BLE, the new watch powers wireless communication functions with a single, ordinary button-cell battery, and without consuming any more battery life than a conventional wristwatch. Users can wear it every day just like they normally do, without the hassle of recharging which is required by typical mobile devices. Battery life is estimated at approximately two years based on the prototype model, assuming that the Bluetooth wireless communication function is used for 12 hours per day.”
Hopefully they’ll make some aesthetic improvements before the product is released.