The short-range nav/comms facility has introduced an new facility to greatly improve location services.
Current Bluetooth location services cover: proximity solutions for item finding and point-of-interest information; and positioning systems for real-time location and indoor positioning (RTLS & IPS). Both use trilateration, using received signal strengths from preferably at least 3 Bluetooth sources, to determine position - typically to an accuracy of 1-10 metres.
The new specification uses directional transmission and/or reception aerials - basically a set of simple aerials where the in-phase and quadrature signal at each aerial is determined. These are combined into a ‘phased array’ that can yield the angle-of-departure or -arrival (AoD or AoA) of signals, as well as signal strengths.
This direction-finding location capability claims to improve location accuracy typically to centimetre level.
Bluetooth location services solutions are predicted to be shipping 400 million products per year by 2022.