u-blox has released two 'explorer kits' aimed at allowing product developers to evaluate the possibilities of Bluetooth direction-finding and high precision indoor positioning. Created for low power consumption, simple deployment, and low cost of ownership, the u-blox XPLR-AOA-1 and XPLR-AOA-2 explorer kits make it simple to test the technology’s abilities to allow various applications, including access control, collision detection, indoor positioning, smart appliances, and asset tracking.
Bluetooth direction-finding makes it feasible to determine the direction that radio signals travel from a mobile tag to one or several fixed anchor points. Employing angle-of-arrival (AoA) technology, anchor points containing an antenna array that is connected to a Bluetooth receiver can identify the direction, or angle, to the mobile tag, which transmits a Bluetooth signal. When a constellation of such multi-antenna anchors is deployed, AoA technology can be employed to triangulate the exact location of a mobile device or tag.
To offer a great experience for the end-user, the company is partnering with Traxmate, whose enterprise asset tracking platform is supported by XPLR-AOA-2. This solution provides a hardware-agnostic, cloud-based tracking system that makes it simpler to set up the tracking environment, create buildings, upload floor plans, and define the placement of the anchor points. Users can utilise their offering to track the position of assets in real-time through the web or a dedicated smartphone app.
“We see huge potential for global Bluetooth ecosystem to finally deliver a low power, high precision solution for locating people and things indoors,” says Erik Carlberg, senior product manager, Product Center Short Range, at u-blox. “We look forward to engaging with early adopters of the technology and fine-tuning our solution, expanding the positioning expertise of u-blox into the indoor environment.”