Casio Developing Watch That Communicates with Phone Through Bluetooth Low Energy Link

Jan 5, 2011
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Casio Developing Watch That Communicates with Phone Through Bluetooth Low Energy Link

For most companies, the Consumer Electronics Show is about showcasing real devices, or devices that are in development but that will be launched at some point in the (near) future. Casio has chosen to take some time out of their schedule at this year's show in Las Vegas to showcase a brand new conceptualized watch that, unlike many other Bluetooth-enabled watches, focuses more on saving power, while still delivering the features that people would expect from a device of this nature.

The Casio watch is, by and far, still just a concept that Casio is putting a lot of work in. With the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology inside, the watch is utilizing the new low-power-consumption version of the short-range wireless networking standard. The watch is able to power its normal usage through a single button-cell battery, which makes it possible for the BLE-fused watch to consume the same amount of power as a normal wristwatch, even with the extra features thrown in.

Casio is testing the technology now, knowing that the BLE-technology will be implemented in devices in the near future. And that means not just smartphones. No word on when Casio will be trying to get something like this out to market, but the company will be showing the device off at their booth at CES, so stay tuned.

Press Release

CASIO DEVELOPS WATCH THAT COMMUNICATES WITH SMARTPHONES VIA BLUETOOTH® LOW ENERGY LINK

Prototype Features the Latest Wireless Technology with Very Low Power Consumption

LAS VEGAS, JANUARY 5, 2011 — Casio Computer Co., Ltd., announced today that it has developed a watch using Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE) technology, the new low-power-consumption version of the short-range wireless networking standard*. A prototype of the watch, sharing a two-way data link with a smartphone, will be exhibited at Casio’s booth (#11006) at the International Consumer Electronics Show to be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center from January 6-9, 2011.

Casio has been redefining the wristwatch for years by applying the latest technologies. Now, Casio’s application of BLE positions the company to create new possibilities for the way people use their watches. 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.

Casio’s new prototype communicates with BLE-equipped smartphones, which will be available in the near future and will connect to networks of various kinds of devices. As the wireless link between smartphones and watches gains in adoption, and as the universe of smartphone applications continues to grow, Casio expects to see new possibilities for watches in everyday life.

Casio aims to produce its first Bluetooth Low Energy Watch in 2011. Meanwhile, Casio will call for partner companies to develop applications compatible with smartphones and other household devices in such areas as sports, health, home entertainment, security, and communication with family and friends.

Overview of Casio’s Prototype Bluetooth Low Energy Watch

Main features:

§ Wireless communication is powered by the button-cell battery used in small devices and watches

§ Battery life with the communication functions is the same as previously released watches

§ The watch case measures a comfortable 53.4 (D) x 44.4 (W) x 12.8 (T) millimeters

Main functions:

§ The alert signal notifies the wearer of calls and e-mail messages arriving on the networked smartphone

§ Alarm and vibration functions of a smartphone can be activated using a watch button

§ A smartphone’s ring and vibration alerts can be stopped by tapping the watch

§ Accurate time information can be transmitted from a smartphone to the watch to ensure correct time

Casio’s demonstration of the Bluetooth Low Energy Watch uses a prototype of a Bluetooth Low Energy smartphone. The demonstration will be conducted at Casio’s Booth (#11006) at 2011 International CES, in cooperation with NEC Casio Mobile Communications.

Main Specifications of the Prototype Bluetooth Low Energy Watch

Communication Specifications
Data Transfer Rate
1 Mbps
Signal Strength
0 dBm (1mW)
Signal Range
2–5 m (may differ depending on surrounding conditions)
Encryption Method
128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
Communication Functions
Time Correction
The watch can be synchronized with time information transmitted from a smartphone
Incoming Call and E-mail Alert
The watch alerts users of incoming calls and e-mail messages sent to a smartphone
Finder Function
Alarm and vibration functions of a smartphone can be activated using a watch button
Watch Functions
Alarm
5 independent daily alarms; hourly time signal; vibration function
Stopwatch
1/100-second; measuring capacity: 23:59’59.99”; split time
Countdown Timer
Measuring unit: 1 second; Input range: 1 minute to 24 hours
World Time
100 cities (35 time zones, daylight saving on/off) and Coordinated Universal Time
Light
Electro-luminescent backlight with afterglow
Other
Full auto-calendar, 12/24-hour format; sleep mode
Power Source
CR2032
Approx. Battery Life
(Based on the Prototype Model)
Approx. 2 years (assuming the communication function is used for 12 hours per day)
Size of Case
53.4 × 44.4 × 12.8 mm
Total Weight
Approx. 50g


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