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IBM Lab Demonstrates Special Bluetooth Watch

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IBM Japan Ltd.’s Tokyo Research Laboratory conducted a demonstration at a Tokyo seminar showing that as a wristwatch embedded with Bluetooth technology is brought close to a PC, the proximity will be detected.

Bluetooth is used in a way similar to that of radio frequency identification (RFID).

The approximate distance is judged by the strength of the radio wave. It has the ability to detect several levels of distance, such as 10m or more, from 5m to 1m, and 1m or less.

“Few demonstrations have been made in which Bluetooth was used for communication and for measuring distance information,” said an official at IBM’s Tokyo Research Laboratory.

The demonstration was conducted featuring “WatchPad,” the Linux-type wristwatch. The IBM lab and Citizen Watch Co., Ltd. are cooperating to develop the wristwatch.

At present, battery drain is high because when detecting approaches, Bluetooth is kept in the same mode as when transmitting/receiving data. However, it is said that, in the future, the measuring operation will become possible for Bluetooth in a stand-by mode, where power consumption is much lower.

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