Now that the word is out regarding the addition of new Bluetooth® direction finding capabilities, it’s worth looking more closely at how this enhancement will position Bluetooth location services to significantly improve the capabilities of today’s smart buildings, smart homes, and smart cities.

The increasing popularity of Bluetooth location services deployments helped create a market demand to enhance the user experience for proximity solutions that enable item finding and point of interest information solutions. The direction finding feature not only answered that demand, it also enabled new possibilities for Bluetooth positioning systems.

Positioning Systems

Positioning systems involve sophisticated infrastructure deployments and use Bluetooth® technology to determine the physical location of devices. To date, these systems have relied on the use of received signal strength (RSSI) measurements to estimate the distance between Bluetooth devices that are part of the system. Using this technique, positioning systems can achieve meter-level accuracy when determining the location of a specific device. However, by adding the new direction finding feature, these systems can use both signal strength and direction when determining the location of a device and, as a result, achieve greater accuracy — down to centimeter-level.

Real-time locating systems (RTLS) and indoor positioning systems (IPS) are two of the most popular types of Bluetooth positioning systems.

Enhanced Asset Tracking Accuracy

Bluetooth® RTLS solutions are used for tracking important assets in a facility, from locating the position of pallets, forklifts, and workers in a warehouse to ultrasound machines and patients in a hospital, helping to ensure safety and optimize response time in an emergency.

In a RTLS solution, low-power, battery-operated Bluetooth transmitters, commonly called tags, are attached to critical assets. These tags transmit their current location and received signal strength (RSSI) to Bluetooth receivers, often referred to as locators, in fixed locations throughout a facility. This provides facility managers with a general positioning of a tracked asset.

With the addition of a new direction finding capability, the location engine in an RTLS solution can now receive both the signal strength and the direction of tags and use that data to improve location accuracy down to centimeter-level. This will allow a factory to track the location and flow of materials with greater precision, as well as track and alert workers before they go into unsafe work areas.

Improved Indoor Positioning Precision

Bluetooth® indoor positioning systems (IPS) power the wayfinding solutions that help visitors, such as shoppers in a mall, travelers in an airport, or workers in a large office building, navigate their way throughout a facility. Many major facilities, like Mall of America, Target, and Gatwick Airport, already rely on Bluetooth IPS solutions to help visitors find their way and get customers moving in the right direction.

Bluetooth IPS solutions work in the opposite way as RTLS solutions. Instead of Bluetooth receivers, Bluetooth transmitters, commonly referred to as locator beacons, are deployed in fixed locations throughout a facility. Visitors then use an app that enables the Bluetooth radio in their smartphone to listen for locator beacons. Based on which locator beacons the app can hear, along with the received signal strength (RSSI) from each and their known locations, the app is able to use trilateration to calculate its current position.

Thanks to new Bluetooth direction finding capabilities, smartphones in an IPS solution can leverage both the signal strength and direction of locator beacons to improve the accuracy of its location determination down to centimeter-level. IPS solutions with direction finding support deployed in hospitals or shopping malls will be able to provide even greater positioning accuracy to improve the navigation experience or require the deployment of fewer locator beacons.

Download this paper, Enhancing Bluetooth Location Services with Direction Finding, to learn how the new direction finding feature will enhance other Bluetooth® location services.

FEATURED DOWNLOAD

Enhancing Bluetooth Location Services with Direction Finding

A new Bluetooth direction finding feature allows devices to determine the direction of a Bluetooth signal, thereby enabling the development of Bluetooth proximity solutions that can understand device direction as well as Bluetooth positioning systems that can achieve down to centimeter-level location accuracy.

INSTANT DOWNLOAD

Bluetooth Location Services Device Growth to Trend Up Over the Next 5 Years

Best known for its innovation in audio streaming and wearable devices, Bluetooth® technology is also…

Sub-metre accuracy claimed for indoor Bluetooth positioning kits

U-blox is claiming sub-metre indoor accuracy with development kits for Bluetooth direction-finding and positioning.

10 Resources That Showcase the Range and Reliability of Bluetooth Technology

Despite the overwhelming adoption of Bluetooth® technology across a wide range of global solutions…

Luminaire Level Lighting Controls and the Future of Healthy Buildings

As we build back from the pandemic, the building industry is rethinking how we…

Bluetooth Low Energy Innovations in Connected Vehicles That You Didn’t Know Of

The automotive industry is evolving at a fast pace. Modern automobiles are far from…

Bluetooth Range and Reliability: Myth vs Fact

For years, Bluetooth® technology enhanced the lives of millions of people around the world, becoming…

Connect: Car Access Demo

In this demo, Texas Instruments will discuss and demonstrate Bluetooth 5.1 and its cutting…

How COVID-19 Changed the Way Location Services Solutions Are Implemented

Kontakt.io, a global innovator of indoor location services, serves more than 2,000 customers across…

Bluetooth® Technology and the Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic

Millions of people have installed smartphone applications which are designed to notify users if…

The Difference Between Classic Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy

The naming conventions for Bluetooth technologies have changed over the years and still cause…

SmartShepherd Improves Scalability For Their Smart Farming IoT Applications With Cassia’s Bluetooth Gateways

Learn how SmartShepherd partnered with Cassia Networks to enable real-time tracking and monitoring of…

Finding Your Way With Bluetooth

The Bluetooth Direction Finding feature brings the possibility of absolute positioning of products and…

Secure and Accurate Distance Bounding for Bluetooth Secure Access

Are you involved in the design and development of products that rely on secure…

High Accuracy Distance Measurement (HADM) Demo For Keyless Entry Systems

In this technology demo Lambda:4 shows their phase based ranging with a standard Bluetooth…

Bluetooth shipments to reach six billion by 2025

Annual shipments of Bluetooth-enabled devices are set to top six billion by 2025, according…

Bluetooth® Technology: The Swiss Army Knife of Low-Power Wireless Technologies

Since its inception, Bluetooth® technology has undergone many enhancements and changes that have allowed…

2021 Bluetooth Market Update

Supported by updated forecasts from ABI Research and insights from several other analyst firms, the Bluetooth Market Update highlights the latest Bluetooth trends and forecasts.

Back to normality

Chuck Sabin, senior director of market development at Bluetooth SIG, explains how Bluetooth Technology…

How Bluetooth® Technology is Enabling Safe Return Strategies in a COVID-19 Era

This report shares insight into how Bluetooth® technology is being leveraged by organizations of all sizes to…

POM Tracer Ensures Workplace Safety with Contact Tracing Solutions from Laird Connectivity

POM Tracer was looking to create an easy-to-implement product that would allow businesses and…

Dyer Engineering Installs Location Tracking to Manage Workflows at Sites

Dyer Engineering is an innovative group of fabrication and machining businesses with wide-ranging capabilities…

2020 Bluetooth Market Update

Supported by updated forecasts from ABI Research and insights from several other analyst firms, the Bluetooth Market Update highlights the latest Bluetooth trends and forecasts.

Bluetooth Location Services

See 8 use cases for enhancing building efficiencies and creating a better visitor experience, discover new data that supports the latest trends and forecasts, and find out what’s driving the rapid adoption of location services solutions.

Lighting as a Platform

See how connected lighting systems are being used as a platform to enable advanced building services like wayfinding, asset tracking, and space utilization to improve the ROI of smart building investments.

Build a Smarter Building with Blue

See how Bluetooth increases reliability, reduces costs, and enhances your smart building ROI.

An Introduction to Bluetooth Beacons

Learn how to build your own Bluetooth beacon or integrate beacon technology into your existing products and apps.

 Get Help