The Bluetooth Special Interest Group announced today it added Apple and Nordic Semiconductor to its board of directors. According to a statement, both companies were appointed for two years by unanimous vote of the current board of directors and will officially begin on July 1, 2011. Nordic Semiconductor is well-versed in wireless health sensors, a fit for the lower power requirements of the Bluetooth 4.0 standard.

Apple, of course, has a penchant for industry verticals such as medical where its iPad has become the physicians’ favorite tool (especially in Australia). Apple’s appointment to Bluetooth SIG’s board of directors  might also help popularize dedicated wireless accessories for iOS devices, such as this dongle that lets you take your own electrocardiograph readouts. Full release below.

Bluetooth SIG Adds Apple and Nordic Semiconductor to Board of Directors

Industry Leaders Support Expansion of Bluetooth Technology into New Markets

Kirkland, WA – June 21, 2011 – The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) today announced two new members to its board of directors from Apple and Nordic Semiconductor. Leaders in their perspective markets, Apple and Nordic join household names Intel, Motorola, Lenovo, Nokia, Microsoft, Ericsson AB, and Toshiba on the Bluetooth SIG board. These companies, plus the more than 14,500 additional Bluetooth SIG member companies, will drive Bluetooth technology’s expansion into platform and sensor markets.

“We see the importance of platform development and ultra-low power sensor silicon for Bluetooth technology and believe guidance and board participation from Apple and Nordic, industry leaders in these perspective fields, is essential,” said Michael Foley, Ph.D., executive director of the Bluetooth SIG. “We have set the ambitious goal of shipping five billion devices in 2015 – to get there we must continue to build a technology that will offer a simple and secure solution that can be found everywhere, in every type of device. These additions to our board will ensure we succeed in new markets we have targeted for growth.”

The way consumers utilize digital devices is undergoing a fundamental shift – mobile phones, laptops and tablets, TVs and even cars now stand to serve as hub devices that capture data from small sensors monitoring everything from footsteps, heart rate activity, blood pressure and sugar levels to house temperature. Hub devices turn that data into useful information at the application layer, then may push that information to the cloud. Apple and Nordic understand this shift; insight from Apple on platform development and Nordic for sensor silicon demands will ensure a smooth growth trajectory of Bluetooth v4.0 into these new areas.

Nordic Semiconductor’s Svein-Egil Nielsen brings extensive experience in R&D as well as his entrepreneurial spirit to the Bluetooth SIG. Nielsen’s vast understanding of the ultra-low power space and its demands will help guide continued development of the Bluetooth v4.0 specification.

“Bluetooth technology has been the main R&D focus at Nordic for the last six years and we are now in a position to enable new and exciting products for consumers,” said Svenn-Tore Larsen, CEO Nordic Semiconductor. “ With our success in ultra-low power wireless technology, we know the market, applications and the customers. Nordic is proud to have the opportunity to extend this knowledge to the Bluetooth community.”

Apple and Nordic’s two-year appointments were agreed upon by unanimous vote of the current board of directors and will officially begin on July 1, 2011.

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