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Bluetooth 5.1 now offers direction finding for tracking objects more accurately

29 January 2019 2

Bluetooth technology is used for various purposes but its most common usage includes sharing data, listening to music/audio wirelessly, and locating objects. It is the last use case where Bluetooth is all set to get even more useful with the release of the latest update. Its governing body Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has announced direction finding feature to make the whole object tracking a lot more accurate.

In the current state, Bluetooth technology is able to locate objects where the Bluetooth-powered object tracker should be within the range of the lost object. Once the range criteria are met, it is able to alert the user about the location which can range from 1 to 10 meters. While this is helpful, this not as accurate as one would want it to be. This is exactly the thing SIG is changing with the Bluetooth 5.1 update.

With the newly added direction finding feature, Bluetooth will be able to narrow down the object's position to the centimeter level. It means users will be able to find objects much faster. This will be more useful in situations when the object is smaller in size and is present at places like somewhere on the shelf.

Mark Powell, Executive Director at Bluetooth SIG said,

“Location services is one of the fastest growing solution areas for Bluetooth technology and is 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.”

It should be noted that there is still sometime before both Bluetooth 5.1 and direction finding feature become available for general users. For now, Bluetooth 5.1 has only been made available for developers.


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