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ANT+ Coming to All Galaxy S4 (And All New Samsung Flagships in the Future)

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By OneCanuck, Junior Member on 4th October 2013, 12:26 PM
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Ray Maker of DC Rainmaker on Twitter reports ANT+ is coming to the Samsung Galaxy S4 through an October Firmware update and will be supported on all flagship devices going into the future
"We will support ANT+ in the Galaxy S4 in a firmware update coming in October" - Samsung (at the ANT+ Symposium)
"We do plan to support ANT+ on all of our flagship smartphone devices in the future" - Samsung (at the ANT+ Symposium)

Ray now has a blog post about this:

Particularly for anyone with sports data tracking devices this is huge news! Not to mention ANT+ is pretty simple to implement now with the new Plugin services they're bundling with the Note 3 right now

ANT also allows you to build really neat wireless topologies as well if your into that stuff, plus it supports full multicast as seen on DC Rainmaker:

A little background on ANT and ANT+:
ANT is a mature ultra low power wireless protocol running on the 2.4 GHz band like WiFi and Bluetooth. Bluetooth Smart is a protocol similar to ANT but architected around Bluetooth style bonding/pairing with several connection layers and services.
ANT is a compact and flexible protocol, allowing virtually any type of wireless network topology to be created. ANT transmitters automatically manage coexistence and divide the RF channel they are transmitting on into timeslots, which means any number of receivers can listen to an ANT device, excellent for gyms, training areas, anything which requires a large number of transmitters, as ANT can handle potentially hundreds of devices transmitting to an infinite number of receivers.

ANT+ is a set of interoperability specifications called "Device Profiles" which means devices which use them are able to "talk" to one another. ANT+ has reportedly shipped in over 60+ million devices globally, predominantly in Sports and Fitness (Adidas miCoach, Garmin Watches, Running Sensors, Heart Rate Straps, etc).

Why does this matter?
Right now, it only matters if you're into any type of sports or fitness training, or if you have an idea which requires 600+ transmitters communicating to XXX number of receivers simultaneously. As a nice bonus, any ANT+ device is compatible with any app as long as it's certified.

For developers
The ANT+ API appears to be much simpler to implement than the BLE API. The ANT+ API already handles device discovery and decoding of data events from sensors into the useful data without even reading the Device Profile. You just request access to heart rate, cadence, etc, and then subscribe to the event handlers which pass the data to you decoded. The BLE API still requires a lot of work to do the decoding properly, handling characteristics, etc

ANT+ Plugin API - Supported from Android 2.1+

BLE - Officially integrated from Android 4.3+

Some Apps which include ANT+:
-Google My Tracks
-Garmin Fitâ„¢
-Run.GPS Trainer UV
-IpBike, IpWatts, IpPeloton, IpSmartHr

Directory of Certified Devices
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4th October 2013, 12:28 PM |#2  
fuser1337's Avatar
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How will it help us exactly?
4th October 2013, 12:43 PM |#3  
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Originally Posted by fuser1337

How will it help us exactly?

Right now its used mostly in sports and fitness although some of those device profiles they've implemented are branching into things like remote control like the O-synce bike handle bar remotes. They submitted patches for Apollo but the developer's busy with other features ATM.
4th October 2013, 04:29 PM |#4  
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sounds like bloat..
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4th October 2013, 04:40 PM |#5  
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Originally Posted by dannyella

sounds like bloat..

It depends on how you use your phone.

For fitness addicts like me, that is good news.

In general, there are different protocols to transfer the data from your heart rate belt. Most devices for home use like spinning use the ANT+ - protocol. Others use the Bluetooth 3.o 0r 4.0 protocol.

BT 4.0 LE (Low Energy = battery saving) is implemented to Android 4.3. I am guessing that it is the same with ANT+.

Benefit for Android-users: You can use your heart rate belt that you use with your home device also with your Android phone
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4th October 2013, 06:19 PM |#6  
arindam_mitra1985's Avatar
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I use ant to build my projects.. lol..

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5th October 2013, 10:42 AM |#7  
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Great news! Any reference?

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5th October 2013, 12:10 PM |#8  
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it's an interesting move for Samsung to make. Considering they and their competitors are bringing out smart watches using bt4 and android 4.3 standardising bt4 api. It was starting to look like ant+ was going to lose the smartphone market. Perhaps they cut a deal with Samsung
8th October 2013, 08:16 AM |#9  
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Originally Posted by Infy_AsiX

it's an interesting move for Samsung to make. Considering they and their competitors are bringing out smart watches using bt4 and android 4.3 standardising bt4 api. It was starting to look like ant+ was going to lose the smartphone market. Perhaps they cut a deal with Samsung

Honestly, Ill believe Ant+ inclusion when it actually happens. BT4 smart has started to catch on with cycling manufacters, both Topeak (currently) and Wahoo (soon) will be able to use bt4 smart sensors soon. I saw a S4 at Interbike hooked up to a BT smart heartrate monitor and speed/cadence sensor.

This was big news to me, as for a long time without a dongle (super annoying) there was no way to use an Android phone with speed/cadence sensors or heartrate monitors, unless you had a sony.

If Ant+ doesnt pick up soon, its going to be left behind. Android including BT smart in 4.3 is going to change the field for newer phones.

I too would like to see some documentation/references about Ant+ inclusion.

-Bicycle Industry Professional
8th October 2013, 11:36 AM |#10  
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After flashing the 4.3 leak i noticed some ANT library packages in the 'installed packages' list.

I found the app "ANT+ Demo" from the app store and it is reading my ANT device! It's already working!

It is working with an ANT+ development kit i have here on my desk, haven't tried it with any official devices yet.
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8th October 2013, 07:18 PM |#11  
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I do have ant+ and some ant plugins installed on my note 3. Factory untouched android 4.3

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