Wahoo’s popular ANT+ Fisica dongle, which allows the iPhone to read signals from fitness gadgets like heart-rate monitors, pedometers and bike sensors, is probably most widely used fitness iPhone accessory since its release a little over a year ago. And today, Wahoo took the first step toward killing it.
That’s because the Atlanta-based outfit just unveiled their new $80 Wahoo Blue HR heart-rate sensor. The Blue HR uses the new low-energy Bluetooth v4.0 connection every new iPhone 4S comes equipped with, instead of the dongle-facilitated ANT+ connection. Which is great, because a) it’s less expensive than buying the dongle (which is $80) and then also having to purchase an HR sensor, and b) there’s no dongle to fiddle with. Wahoo is first to announce a Bluetooth v4.0 fitness device for the iPhone.
We’re not sure yet how power consumption compares with that of ANT+, but it should be more or less comparable. Unfortunately, while Bluetooth v4.0 isn’t just Apple technology and should be included on Android (et. al.) high-end handsets as well, the 4S is the only Apple handset with the tech — it doesn’t exist on the 4 or below. Also, the HRM is the only piece of kit with the tech; no pedometer, powermeter or bike sensors are equipped with it just yet — so if you’re on a bike and need cadence you’re still stuck with a dongle, even with a 4S.