The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) managed to get something not everybody gets these days: direct involvement from Apple, one of two companies to join its board of directors.
Brian Tucker, senior software engineering manager, iOS Bluetooth Technologies at Apple; and Svein-Egil Nielsen, director of Emerging Technology and Strategic Partnerships at Nordic Semiconductor, based in Oslo, Norway, will officially join the Bluetooth SIG board on July 1.
The two new board members join representatives from existing members Intel, Motorola, Lenovo USA, Nokia, Microsoft, Ericsson and Toshiba. Their additions come as the Bluetooth SIG steers Bluetooth into new avenues for growth, like the connected home, TV and healthcare.
It’s not as if Bluetooth has done a shabby job in the growth department to date. More than 1.7 billion Bluetooth-enabled devices were commercialized in 2010. The goal for 2015 is to ship 5 billion unique products with Bluetooth, or about 14 million a day – and a lot of technologies would like to ship that many in a year, let alone a day, said Mike Foley, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG, in a conference call.
The Bluetooth SIG sees Apple’s insight in platform development and Nordic’s expertise in sensor silicon as ways to help ensure a smooth growth trajectory for Bluetooth v4.0 into new areas. While most consumers are familiar with Bluetooth as a hand-free or headset product, they’re not as familiar with other use cases, like using Bluetooth in a TV remote control or 3D glasses. Health and wellness is another key area, with companies like Nordic making ultra-low power chips for use in pedometers and a heart rate chest strap.
Foley expects that at next year’s Consumers Electronics Show (CES), if not before, there will be a large selection of TVs that use Bluetooth for the remote.
The Bluetooth SIG says Apple and Nordic’s two-year appointments were agreed upon by unanimous vote of the current board of directors.