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Sports and Fitness

Sports and Fitness

ANT™ and Bluetooth Smart solutions for sports & fitness monitors and sensors


Sports & Fitness - Where measuring and monitoring motivate success


Ultra-low power (ULP) wireless sensors that are small enough to be worn on the body are transforming the sports & fitness world by making it easy to track and log training data – such as heart-rate, speed, and distance – and share the results on-line with others. This benefits everyone from elite athletes seeking to fine-tune their training regimes to those who simply want to get fit and stay motivated by seeing the results of their hard work.


Typical products in this segment are:

  • Wearable sensors
  • Heart-rate belts
  • Speed-distance foot pods
  • GPS pods
  • Pedometers
  • Activity sensors
  • Bike cadence sensors
  • Bike speed sensors
  • Bike power sensors
  • Weight scales



Quick start tools


The following tools are available to speed up your sport and fitness designs:




Nordic nRFready Demo Apps for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets


Mobile devices have become increasingly popular as repositories for sport and fitness data. Currently, there is a differing level of native support for Bluetooth Smart (previously called Bluetooth low energy) and ANT+ on different mobile platforms. The nRFready demo apps work with a wide range of the most popular ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart accessories such as wireless heart rate straps, foot pods, bike speed-distance, cadence, power sensors, temperature, proximity tags, weight scales, blood pressure monitors, and blood glucose monitors. The nRFready demo apps complement Nordic‘s series of ANT and Bluetooth Smart solutions to offer a complete end-to-end product development solution.


Please go to the nRF product pages that are linked from the device selector table further down to read about development tools and software support for each relevant nRF product.



Nordic competitive edge


Nordic Semiconductor's ultra-low power (ULP) wireless solutions support the latest demands of sport and fitness by offering:

  • Over-The-Air Device Firmware Update (OTA-DFU)
  • Class-leading battery lifetimes – Up to years from coin cell batteries
  • Small size – Compact packaging options, enabling miniaturized sensors to be developed, including ‘wearable’ devices
  • Ease-of-integration – Proven on-chip ANT and Bluetooth Smart protocol and support for a wide range of application microcontrollers to ease design-in
  • Multi-protocol SoCs - Single chip solutions capable of running more than one protocol on-chip including Bluetooth Smart and ANT
  • Pin compatible SoCs - Drop-in replacement devices across different protocol platforms
  • Pin compatible SoCs - Pin compatible SoC's across Bluetooth Smart, ANT, and 2.4 GHz enables you to make one PCB design for a range of products
  • Protocol/Application independence - The nRF51 series' unique software architecture enables you to develop, compile, and test your application separately from the embedded protocol stack
  • Multi-vendor interoperability – Seamless connectivity to existing ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart systems
  • Mobile phone connectivity – Seamless connectivity to mobile phones with built-in ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart




The nRF51 Series are flash-based SoCs, as such they represent the most flexible solution available. A key feature of the nRF51 Series and their associated software architecture and S-Series SoftDevices is the possibility for Over-The-Air Device Firmware Update (OTA-DFU). See fig. 1. This allows firmware updates to be issued and downloaded to products in the field via the cloud. This enables OEMs to fix bugs and introduce new features to products that are already out in the marketplace. This brings added security and flexibility to product development when using the nRF51 Series SoCs.




Nordic offers the following wireless technologies for sport and fitness




ANT+ is today a very popular standard for ultra-low power wireless connectivity in sports and fitness equipment. There are a number of smartphones with built-in ANT+ support and a wide variety of dedicated hub devices to connect ANT+ sensors with. ANT+ supports a wide range of device profiles enabling vendor interoperability in sports and fitness, offering over 20 profiles for a wide range of applications.


More information about ANT+, visit


Bluetooth Smart

Bluetooth Smart

Bluetooth Smart is an exciting technology that is becoming a standard feature in mobile devices. Bluetooth Smart Ready devices form the hub of our personal area networks, these include smartphones and tablets as well as dedicated hub products. Bluetooth Smart devices are the peripheral sensors that typically capture data and relay data to and from the hubs. Bluetooth Smart profiles are already available for a range of different applications.


For more information about Bluetooth Smart visit



Nordic IC offering


nRF51 Series

nRF51 Series logo_main_black

The nRF51 Series is Nordic's latest generation of ULP wireless System on Chip IC's that again set the benchmark in this field. The nRF51 Series is based on the 32 bit ARM Cortex-M0 CPU and Nordic's leading multiprotocol radio and supports Bluetooth Smart, ANT, and 2.4 GHz proprietary solutions. Across the range pin-compatibility allows for drop-in replacement of device types where application requirements differ with no requirement for redesign of circuit layout. The innovative software architecture ensures an absolute separation between application code and protocol stacks, and enables you to maintain one code base for products using the different wireless technologies.
The nRF24AP series offers a range of ANT/ANT+ connectivity devices that can be paired with general purpose microcontrollers to add wireless connectivity to your application. An easy to use serial interface with a standard protocol accross all the nRF24AP devices makes maintenance of several nRF24AP products straight forward.



uBlue chip image 4

The nRFμBlue range of devices offer connectivity solutions for Bluetooth Smart applications. These devices have a focus on design-in simplicity for applications that require Bluetooth Smart connectivity. The nRF8001 offers a complete, qualified Bluetooth Smart for peripheral applications.



Device Selector Table for Sport and Fitness


Device Bluetooth Smart ANT 2.4GHz Multi-protocol capable



nRF24AP2-1CH   x            
nRF24AP2-8CH   x            
nRF24AP2-USB   x       x    
nRF51422 x x x   x  
nRF51822 x   x x x   x  
nRF8001 x