On January 28th the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) released a new v5.1 version of the Bluetooth Core Specification supporting a brand-new feature called Direction Finding. This enhances existing Bluetooth Locationing Services with improved accuracy in real-time locationing (RTLS) and indoor positioning systems beyond what was previously possible with Bluetooth wireless technology.
Until now, Bluetooth® Locationing Services relied on signal strength to calculate distances and determine indoor positioning between devices in applications such as proximity marketing, personal ‘find me’ tags, and asset tracking. By adding Direction Finding capabilities into these systems, a device can in addition to crude distance information now also know the direction of a signal from another Bluetooth device and as such improve the location accuracy.
“Nordic Semiconductor, a long-term contributor to the Bluetooth Core Specification and an Associate Member of the Bluetooth SIG, is excited to see this enhancement coming to Bluetooth as it allows its customers to build better positioning accuracy into their Bluetooth locationing applications,” says Kjetil Holstad, Product Manager for Short Range Connectivity at Nordic. “There is a strong need for good and accurate location services both at the consumer level and in the B2B segment. This opens up the possibility of not just knowing approximate distance, but also direction in three dimensions that will allow our customers to build even better locationing systems.”