Garmin sensors, Tacx Smart trainer, iPad Air2

Zwift newbie, not super computer savvy and trying to understand the information flow protocol. Using a a Tacx Vortex Smart trainer. Running Zwift on an iPad Air 2. From what I am deducing the Tacx will send the speed and power data directly to the Zwift app on the iPad via Blue Tooth, and Zwift will send back power/tension adjustments to Tacx via Blue Tooth depending on what course I am riding.
I also have a Garmin HRM and a Garmin Cadence sensor on my bike and understand those transmit via “ant +” not Bluetooth. Am I able to “merge” the HRM and Cadence data into the Zwift Bluetooth ride data, and if so what additional hardware needed to do that?

OK, you are close to understanding it.

The trainer will communicate to the iPad via Bluetooth, but only power/watts not speed, Zwift uses those watts, your weight, in-game bike used, in-game drafting and virtual elevation changes to determine in-game speed. Yes, Zwift will send the elevation changes back to the trainer to simulate the changes.

To get the Garmin HRM and S/C sensor to connect (or any Garmin device for that matter) you would need something like CABLE to bridge the ANT+ signal to Zwift running on an iOS device.

Thanks, Paul!  So just to restate to make sure I understand:  Using CABLE will not alter the trainer’s communications with the iPad as set up, merely allow me to add in the additional data of HR and cadence from my Garmin sensors?

Correct, CABLE will just bridge the ANT+ signals that you need. You may see another Bluetooth connect on the pairing screen for the trainer after you have the CABLE up and running, but you should be able to figure out the correct one to connect to fairly easily.

You could get a Wahoo Tickr HRM and a Wahoo Blue S/C to replace the Garmin devices, both Wahoo devices are ANT+ and Bluetooth so you wouldn’t need the CABLE.

Thanks again, much appreciated.

I am using the cable and its brilliant.  It allows me to se my Ant+ stuff and BT LE all at the same time.  It also deals with the connection limit on apple TV that I get from time to time.