Bluetooth 5.1 adds ‘direction-finding’ for improved location accuracy

Bluetooth 5.1

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has announced a new direction-finding feature that is aimed at enhancing the performance of the Bluetooth location services solutions. The new 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.

By including the new direction-finding feature, Bluetooth proximity solutions can add device direction capability. For example, an item finding solution could not only let a user know when a personal property tag is nearby but also in what direction. The Bluetooth positioning systems can achieve meter-level accuracy when determining the physical location of a device.

By adding the new direction-finding feature, these positioning systems could improve their location accuracy down to the centimeter-level. The direction finding feature is included in version 5.1 of the Bluetooth Core Specification, which is currently only available to developers. In addition, the Bluetooth SIG tool used to qualify new Bluetooth products is being updated to support this feature and will also be available to developers starting today.

Fabio Belloni, chief customer officer and co-founder of Quuppa said:

Bluetooth has emerged as the technology of choice for location services, allowing companies to build robust, reliable solutions for the wide variety of organizations that require an accurate location to power their businesses,” said “Today’s introduction of a standard approach to Bluetooth direction finding promises to open up even more opportunities for us, our partners, and our customers.

Mark Powell, Bluetooth SIG Executive Director said:

Location services are one of the fastest growing solution areas for Bluetooth technology and are forecasted to reach over 400 million products per year by 2022. This is great traction and the Bluetooth community continues to seek ways to further grow this market with technology enhancements that better address market needs, demonstrating the community’s commitment to driving innovation and enriching the technology experience of users worldwide.