Bluetooth indoor positioning antenna board for commercial end-products

25-03-2022 | U-Blox | Development Boards

u-blox has released the u-blox ANT-B10 antenna board for Bluetooth direction finding and indoor positioning applications. Created for integration into commercial end-products, the board provides low power, high precision indoor positioning and speeds up testing, evaluation, and commercialisation of Bluetooth direction finding and indoor positioning solutions.

The product is a self-contained Bluetooth low energy antenna board for direction finding and indoor positioning. The board, which provides an antenna array comprising eight individual patch antennas, is constructed around a NINA-B411 Bluetooth 5.1 module. After processing incoming RF signals emitted by mobile tracker tags in the module’s radio and angle calculation processor, the board outputs the calculated AoA without needing any extra processes.

The release also includes the XPLR-AOA-3 explorer kit. It offers an application board, which provides developers a quick and easy way to evaluate and test the antenna board and the company's direction-finding algorithm. An off-the-shelf pin header on the application board provides for easy bring-up and testing of the device and third-party antenna boards. And connecting the two boards delivers a ready-to-use AoA indoor positioning anchor point in seconds.

ANT-B10 and XPLR-AOA-3 complement the current indoor positioning offering, including the popular XPLR-AOA-1 and XPLR-AOA-2 kits. Using u-connectLocate, which operates on ANT-B10’s Bluetooth module, solution developers can quickly execute the angle calculation algorithms utilising AT commands. When combined, the solution suite is ready to go for end-product integration.

Everyday use cases for Bluetooth indoor positioning and direction include tracking assets in industrial settings such as in warehouses and people and things in hospitals, retail environments, or museums. Furthermore, access control systems deployed in connected buildings can use angle detection to determine which side of a door users are located.

“We are excited to be part of such a great all-round indoor positioning solution. u-blox has really demonstrated its commitment to bringing down the barriers to entry for Bluetooth indoor positioning solutions and popularising the technology,” says Mika Jäsberg, VP Components at CoreHW.

“With the introduction of ANT-B10 and the XPLR-AOA-3 kit, we are excited to offer a complete u-blox RF-to-cloud solution for Bluetooth-based indoor positioning and direction-finding. The solution lets developers benefit from our in-house expertise in angle calculation and multipath suppression, saving development costs and shortening time to market,” says Giorgos Marakis, Product Strategy, Short Range Radio, at u-blox.

By Natasha Shek