Nokia 's ultra low-power Wibree wireless communication technology is to be developed as a new version of the Bluetooth standard.

The move, announced today by Nokia and the Bluetooth SIG standards body, means Wibree technology will be developed as an ultra low-power part of the Bluetooth specification. Instead of being a competing technology, Wibree will now become a Bluetooth solution for smaller, lower-powered devices such as mobile phones, watches and even heart rate monitors.

The ultra-low power standard is expected to be finalised by this time next year, soon after which it will make its way into products.

"I would see the products coming relatively quickly after the specs are done," Bluetooth SIG director, Michael Foley, told Reuters in an interview.

Wibree uses up only a fraction of the amount of power that current Bluetooth technology uses. It currently has a range of about 10 metres.

New wireless gadget standard

This would benefit users of equipped phones and other gadgets because current Bluetooth 2.1 prolifically drains battery power. If left on, it requires regular recharging.

Wibree operates at a frequency of 2.4GHz with a physical layer bit rate of 1Mbit/s. Other applications will include devices such as wrist watches, wireless keyboards, toys and sports sensors where low power-consumption is a key design requirement.