ANT: The Protocol
ANT is a proven ultra-low power (ULP) wireless protocol that is responsible for sending information wirelessly from one device to another device, in a robust and flexible manner.
With millions of deployed nodes, ANT™ is perfectly suited for any kind of low data rate sensor network topologies - from peer- to-peer or star, to practical mesh - in personal area networks (PAN) which are well suited for sports, fitness, wellness and home health applications. As well ANT is a practical solution for local area networks (LAN) in homes and industrial automation applications.
A 2.4GHz practical wireless networking protocol and embedded system solution, ANT is specifically designed for wireless sensor networks (WSN) that require:
ultra low power - runs on a coin cell for years of operation
highly resource optimized - fits into a compact sized memory
network flexibility and scalability - self-adaptive and able to do practical mesh
easy to use with low system cost - operates independently with a single chip
ANT devices may use any RF frequency from 2400MHz to 2524MHz, with the exception of 2457MHz, which is reserved for ANT+ devices. Similarly ANT devices may use the public network key, a private network key, or a privately owned managed network key; but may not use the ANT+ network key, which is also reserved for ANT+ devices.
ANT+: Open Interoperability
ANT+ is a set of mutually agreed upon definitions for what the information sent over ANT represents. These definitions are called device profiles and are typically tied to a specific use case. For example, a heart rate monitor will send information about your heart rate which is defined in the ANT+ device profile for a heart rate monitor. These device profiles are shared among all of the ANT+ Adopters, enabling any ANT+ Adopter to create a heart rate monitor or heart rate monitor receiver that will operate interchangeably with one another. When ANT+ is branded on a device it means it has been certified to be interoperable with other ANT+ branded devices.
Because ANT+ is built on top of the proven ultra-low power ANT protocol, the network is optimised for power consumption, cost, latency, robust communication and ease of implementation.
Putting it All Together
Even when both sides are talking ANT, they still may not understand one another
ANT+ profiles allow both sides to understand one another
The ANT+ Alliance is an open special interest group of companies who have adopted the ANT+ promise of interoperability. The Alliance ensures standardized communications through optimized brand value and partnerships with other top tier products.
ANT, ANT+ and the ANT+ Alliance are all managed by the ANT Wireless division of Dynastream Innovations Inc.