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New ANT wireless protocol competes with Bluetooth

Published February 26, 2013

COCHRANE, Alberta, Canada (BRAIN) — The organization behind the ANT+ wireless protocol, used in many power meters and others sports monitoring products, announced a new generation of the protocol Tuesday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

The new ANT Ultra-Low Power protocol appears to be a response to the newest generation Bluetooth 4.0 wireless protocol, which is increasingly being used on sports devices and is built in to some newer smartphones.

Like Bluetooth 4.0 (also known as Bluetooth Smart), ANT ULP promises longer battery life, faster performance and expanded features.

One feature of ANT that Bluetooth 4.0 does not share is the ability for a device such as a power meter to communicate with multiple monitors at the same time, something the original ANT did not allow. ANT also allows "many-to-one" communication, which would allow a coach to review data from multiple riders at once, which might be useful in an indoor training class, for example.

The company behind ANT Wireless is Dynastream Innovations Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Garmin Ltd. 

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