Garmin ANT+ Profile Changes in advanced beta – this means new features SOON

I first wrote about this in 2021, but things recently moved to the next stage.

Garmin ANT+ Profile Changes are now in beta

There are changes to the ANT+ profile that have been defined and accepted and are now in an advanced beta state being used by developers outside of Garmin. By itself, this does NOT mean that you or I will be able to use these features yet, but rather that companies like Garmin and Wahoo can start to implement them in their own ecosystems.

Specifically, I know that the Temperature profile is now at this stage and there may be other changes too that I don’t know about. Within the temperature profile are spaces for CORE TEMPERATURE and SKIN TEMPERATURE as well as parts under the hood where DATA QUALITY can be noted.

via: @Chris, thank you

What This Means

The Temperature profile is a niche standard and will almost certainly be used in May/June 2023 with the release of the PRO versions of Epix 2 and Fenix 7. Alongside that, we will likely also see the CORE Sensor very quickly follow the standards if it doesn’t already do that. I would speculate that Wahoo quickly introduces support and I heard also that Coros and Polar (perhaps also Suunto) were working to support the BLE side of things. Literally an hour after posting, SRAM/Hammerhead confirmed CORE integration onto KAROO 2 with temp data output in the FIT file.

Supporting temperature is an interesting commercial exercise for watch vendors as CORE temperature is a pro-athlete and athlete-lab metric, whereas SKIN temperature very much fits on the wellness side of things. If you chose to support one I guess it makes sense to kill two birds with one stone.



all the details – new Garmin Fenix ​​7 Pro, new Elevate, new features, new Epix Pro


CORE generally recommends that trained athletes use 38.5 Celcius as a threshold to stay below, whereas skin temperature can fluctuate wildly for numerous reasons.





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13 thoughts on “Garmin ANT+ Profile Changes in advanced beta – this means new features SOON

  1. Timely. I just ordered a CORE sensor yesterday. On their website, they have a developer section that discusses these fields, and points out that for CIQ developer fields (ie where the CIQ DF adds data to the file), you really, really, want to use the standardized names. This was a nice surprise as ThisIsAnt still had the core temp profile behind the “early adopter” wall.

  2. I’m very excited to see CORE use a built in profile as I’m currently having issues running both the Stryd and CORE data fields simultaneously.

  3. This is encouraging. There needs to be native support for next-gen sensor technology:

    – CGM
    – body temp
    – sweat rate
    – muscle oxygen
    – running power

    What am I missing?

    Ideally this stuff should work over BLE or ANT+. (And really does ANT+ need to exist indefinitely as a weird niche protocol with lower bandwidth and reliability that the BLE mobile standard? I feel like ANT+ is a complexity that is an albatross around Garmin’s neck more than it is a moat ever since BLE became necessary for music.)

    The problem is 2 slots in CIQ and also the extra overhead in terms of power drain and flakiness from CIQ.

    Anything that requires CIQ is early adopter and/or niche territory that limits the market. It’s a safety valve but not a panacea — at least as currently implemented.

    1. Connecting a bluetooth device to multiple other devices is a pita.
      Connecting a ant+ device to multiple other devices is a piece of cake.

      Well, that’s what dcrainmaker will tell you. But reviewers are a bit niche of their own.

    2. if the niche is a sports device working on a garmin then its a big niche!

      even the stryd ciq DF seems totake up more than one DF slot on my fr965

      there are other things like lactate and creatine and bp.

      1. You are making my point. The 2 field limit and limitations of CIQ are a problem for sensors.

        We have just collectively rattled off 8 sensor types that require CIQ today. You can’t use more than 2 together and you have to have a proliferation of sport profiles to manage the different combinations.

        In the running power case the resolution of a native power implementation but no 3rd party support other than a generic foot pod input is anticompetitive. (Or maybe that is driven by a hardball patent IP fight with Stryd, I don’t know.)

        It’s not great. It seems like in 2023 these limits should not be so severe. So I would like to see either more data streams defined that people can plug an arbitrary device into or more CIQ slots with better CIQ integration into native workout features. Or both.

      2. I’m not talking about datafields. I’m talking about number of connections. Most bluetooth devices can only connect to 1 receiver.

        For instance, a bluetooth cheststrap can be connected to your watch. If you swith to a bike computer or fittness device you have to pair it with that device. If you want to go back to your watch, you have to pair it again.

        Where as ant+, your cheststrap can be connected to multiple devices without the need to pair over and over again.

    3. CORE has been nice enough to provide the full CIQ source code for their field, so it’d be easy for a developer to combine multiple sensors into a single DF. In fact, that’s exactly what I will do – incorporate CORE support into my existing DF’s. Nothing preventing a single DF from opening multiple ant+ channels for various devices. Only limited by the watch hardware itself. Just need to find a developer that’s interested in the same combination of sensors you are :). I personally don’t use Stryd so won’t be adding support for that.
      While CIQ has its limitations and bugs, it also opens up lots of possibilities. I’m certainly not arguing the 2 DF is acceptable. Just that there are ways to mitigate it.
      As for Ant+, I’d say it’s a superior interface for situations like this. BLE is still kind of a mess, except for the most well defined profiles.

      1. while you’re at it stick in one for engo glasses, superspaiens (good luck with that one), and any others you can think of 😉 would be good to have a mechanism to get multiple sensors all recording into one file. its a complete pita atm. admittedly it affects about 10 people globally, i just happen to be one of them ty 😉

  4. Until Bluetooth transmitting and receiving devices both support “many to many” relationships without manual re-pairing/intervention, ANT+ (and Polar’s former “GymLink” protocols) are far superior to BT connectivity in the sports realm.

    When I go for a road bike ride, I have the following setup:
    H10 HR chest strap 2x BT, ANT+, Gymlink
    Polar v800 watch (BTLE and GymLink) (could also use a Coros Pace 2 or Garmin FR245m if I desired, but my primary data lives in Polar-verse until further notice (maybe not much further)
    Stages Dash M50 bike computer (secondary recorder, and full mapping/route planning, bike workout/history tracking and general bike computer display obviously)
    Power meter(s) (either G3 hub or Speedplay dual-sided pedal PMs depending on bike setup (Polar doesn’t like the dual-sided, FYI, but that’s another topic that is Polar-specific).
    Speed/cadence sensor (BT and ANT+)
    Garmin Varia bike radar/tailight (BT and ANT+)
    Watch can record from all the necessary sensors pretty reliably via BTLE, with the G3 hub at least, and nothing to do with the Varia (Garmin actually records things (battery if nothing else) I think from the Varia, but that’s irrelevant to me personally, someone else may actually care).
    Because some of these are 1:1 BT pairings (PM to watch via BT) I’d have no way to pair those things to my bicycle head unit (where I prefer to watch when riding)… except I also have ANT+ options… so now I can pair the Varia, the power meter, the speed/cadence sensor, AND my HR strap, to the bike computer… would be IMPOSSIBLE with BT only to do this in this scenario.
    I could even add in my cell phone to the mix (and have) to record in another app (Strava for example, for ride tracking/live segments, etc, or some other app that may add unique utility in some fashion (Stryd, for running, as one possible alternate sport example)). I can pair my android cell phone via ANT+ or BTLE, so flexible there on whatever I want to use.

    Another very common, example, is this…
    A Smart indoor cycling trainer that supports single BT transmission to one paired item. (very common, although thankfully most newer trainers are starting to include more than one channel, that’s a recent change and still not global, and some like Kickr actually mix signals in ways depending on transmission type, that some watches can’t handle, which adds more confusion to the situation)….

    The trainer user wants to pair their trainer to zwift for the “experience” and power control of the trainer (no problem)… they also want to pair their fitness watch to record the full details into their daily tracking ecosystem (oops, can’t be done now, if it’s a single-pair only trainer and/or a watch that can’t rebroadcast, etc)…. oh, and they’d also like the output displayed on their bicycle computer in front of them, for ease of display and to keep track of the odo readings for wear-and-tear on their bike… that’s 3x BT pairings… oh wait, they need to pair to their pedals or S/C sensor, for accurate cadence recording (that’s 4x)…. and they have an HR chest strap… and a “Core” body temperature monitor (5, 6)… and heck, nowadays they may even have a live glucose monitor… 7….
    A HUGE percentage of bicycle trainers, run out of connections after step 1.
    If it’s a Garmin watch (or a previous to current Gen Coros) and if the devices co-broadcast ANT+ and BT…. this is easily done. Pair all the sensors via ANT+ where capable, pair the “controlling” device (such as zwift’s PC it is running on) to the trainer via BT for workout control, the rest will all record, display, and “just work” fine with ANT+….
    This can be said of treadmills or other BT/ANT+ controlled trainers. It can be true of ANY multi-sensor to multi-recording/.controlling setup.
    Simplifying back to VERY common….
    I want to jog on my treadmill, and display my HR on my watch and my BT-capable treadmill… I use a Polar H9, or an older Garmin chest strap (newest HRM Pro supports 3 channels, nice Garmin!)… oops, can’t do that… maybe I want to do a cardio class (Orange Theory I think does this) where they link my chest strap to their “class display”… again, with a single-channel chest strap, can’t do both, it’s either record to the watch, or broadcast to their display system… H10 chest strap or other “multi-BT-channel” strap, do make this more feasible, but those are the smaller percentage of devices currently in the wild.
    SOME of this is changing, watches that rebroadcast are FINALLY starting to emerge, and some even work once in a while (very flaky and unreliable historically from session to session)….
    OH YEAH… I forgot, you want to pair your phone to your chest strap so that the app can let you know via audio cues through your BT headphones, if you are in/out of the desired heart-rate range… so that’s 10 and 11 I think (I’ve lost count)…

    BT is completely immature for this market, it IS getting better, but it’s limitations are profound, for any setup beyond the basics.
    If you just want to go for a run, with your watch, headphones, and chest strap paired, yep, BT is perfectly suited. Just make sure if you have a single-channel chest strap, that the app on your phone doesn’t take over the signal from the watch if it drops connection for a moment and you had the app open in workout mode by mistake, or you risk losing most of your workout or having to stop and re-pair. You don’t want to turn off Bt because it’s linked to your headphones, so you need to unpair the chest strap and/or watch completely, before starting your workout to be 100% safe (this isn’t all the time, but it can happen and cause problems that are unique to BT)…
    ANT+ has none of these issues, it “just works” generally speaking… it CAN have signal issues due to poor antenna design (Fenix prior gens in particular have had that) but the majority of pairings, simply work, and the only (reasonable) connection-count limitations are artificial by programmers, not standards-related (there is no practical limit to the number of sensor/device pairings, yes, there ARE technically limits in the standard that are way beyond any practical usage need, but the more likely limits are just “designer of the OS on your particular device, didn’t think you’d need more than “5” pairings for example). If you need more than 32 or whatever the actual ANT+ spec limit is, I’d love to know why! LOL

    The minute Coros dropped ANT+ in their current line, was the moment I looked away from them as an option (as an owner of the Pace 2). I do have a complex training setup at home, and do use 5-6 connections, between watch, computer, trainer, power meter, HR strap, etc. When running, I have chest strap and Stryd, cell phone (which I don’t have to worry about the BT pairings since H10 has dual-channel, I did lose H7 recordings in the past though when the app “stole” the signal due to my lack of attention starting out the workout with the app open) (and if I was on a smart treadmill, I’d have that also)… when rowing, I have HR strap, watch, and rower pairings. WHen it’s a gymlink or an ANT+ rower (we have 3 gens at our place, each is different, LOL, and I use an H10 HR sensor) I can simply sit down, start rowing, see my HR come up on the display, let my watch do it’s thing recording, and not have to think twice. With BT, I’d have to pair my sensor, and find that same rower (or have a USB to insert to let it know who I was from one workout to the next) or re-pair if someone else paired since the last time I used it.
    So, yeah, BT, while a valid solution, needs a LOT of expansion before it can actually replace ANT+, in spite of designers naive wishes (looking at Coros, and Polar for that matter as well).
    All my opinions of course, but even with all “newer” equipment less than 2-3 years old, there are many setups that you can’t simply get there with only BT involved. (And I still love GymLink, the fact I can see live, accurate, HR while swimming, something BT, ANT+, OHR, none of them can reliably do (I have heart issues, so it’s important that I actually keep track of it, for most people they wouldn’t care obviously). But that’s a now-dead standard once my stable of watches finally die

    Garmin is the only one doing it right still. Until I can pair 5 sensors to 5 receivers, simultaneously, repeatedly after the initial setups/pairings, without errors or problems, BT isn’t ready for sports. And that requires all parties to cooperate, which is WHY BT isn’t “there” yet. I bought the first BT HR sensor Polar made years ago, thinking how great it would be, one standard for everything… no, in fact, AFTER that, I realized I HAD to buy everything “dual-transmission” if I had any hope of pairing up things I wanted to (and this was a decade ago). I actually had to replace my G3 hub sensor (originally BT-only) with an ANT+ only (and later with a dual-cap)… because BT simply couldn’t (and still can’t) get there from here.

    1. The counterpoint is that ANT+ isn’t very good at transmitting data by contemporary standards. The only things it has going for it is broadcast, legacy and Garmin. The broadcast is a double-edged sword.

      ANT+ is a wireless broadcast sensor network technology. It’s basically controlled by Garmin.

      Bluetooth is a personal area network technology that has a broad industry consortium governance and ubiquitous adoption in the mobile space (because of smart phones).

      The only thing “better” about ANT+ is the broadcast nature which gives you the multiple device connect situation. But there are drawbacks because it is fire and forget so lost (dropped) data frames are common. The network data rate is poor at 12.8 kbit/s base and up to 60 kbit/s “advanced” burst.

      Bluetooth LE is connection oriented which is why the devices keep track of pairings but that also allows it to use frequency hopping spread spectrum encoding (with encryption) for much higher data rates and resistance to analog interference. It’s simply more reliable at getting data through. The low energy base rate is 125 kbit/s with 500 kbit/s, 1 Mbit/s, 2 Mbit/s modes.

      BLE supports 10x the base data rate of ANT+ and with more reliable frame delivery.

      This makes a difference if you care about the noise and accuracy of the sensor data. For example ANT+ HRM data is poor for DFA alpha 1 regression on RR intervals or for detecting arrhythmia from an HRM chest strap. But from the same device, BLE is much cleaner.

      Sensors designed for BLE can record and send more data than ANT+ can handle. If you are using a Polar H10 for example, it records higher precision data over BLE than ANT+.

      This is why the companies without a deep legacy support for ANT+ accessories have just stopped supporting ANT+.

      Bluetooth is a broad industry standard and has massively more R&D money than ANT+ so we can expect the situation to get worse and not better. It costs Garmin money and resources to support ANT+ in addition to Bluetooth. It costs die space and energy have ANT+ and Bluetooth capacity in the silicon chips in the device. You have to have two driver stacks in your software that are bug-free and can run simultaneously. I think ultimately Garmin will abandon ANT+. It’s just a question of when.

      1. When I switch on my 840, my speed & Cadence sensoers, my power meter, my HRM strap my headlight and taillight + radar are connected within 30 seconds or less and if I want to, I can conncet them to my Instinct 2X at the same time. Maybe BLE can transmit more data (only important in super rare cases when you wear a HRM strap…maybe but clearly useless for speed or cadence, light and radar) but what good is that when all the other sensors can not be connected. I don’t know why Suunto decided against ANT+, but that makes their watch useless for cyclists, unlike many of Garmin devices.

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