Finnish communications giant Nokia has yesterday announced a new innovation that provides a radio technology that is a lot less power hungry than Bluetooth. Known as Wibree, the technology is intended to complement Bluetooth and work with the same hardware, however it can operate as standalone.

Although similar to Bluetooth in many ways, Wibree is better suited for infrequent bursts of data, such as in cases where the connected device will need to consume much less power. It is similar to wireless LAN but optimised for smaller devices. It is claimed that power consumption could be as low as 10 per cent of that used by a Bluetooth connection.

Many interesting applications have been envisioned for this new technology. For example, a device could be worn by a jogger that collects information about their heart rate and so forth, and transmits this to a mobile phone for analysis.

"It's up to 10 times more energy efficient than Bluetooth," Bob Iannucci, head of Nokia Research Center, told a news conference.