Back in 2016, the Bluetooth group teased Bluetooth 5 and said it would be all things good, better speed, range, broadcast capacity. The new version was officially announced a few months later. Bluetooth 5 promised to be faster, broader, and longer-ranged. It was made ready for IoT and true enough, we experienced major improvements in speed and seamless connectivity. Not many devices have adopted Bluetooth 5.0 but it’s already getting a follow-up. Bluetooth 5.1 is ready with enhanced support for location services. It comes with a new direction-finding feature that will allow phones to know the direction of a Bluetooth signal.

The new feature enables the creation of possible Bluetooth proximity solutions. Determining the device direction is important so connectivity is maximized.

Bluetooth positioning systems can be done with more accuracy and precision because the version allows more power. In the near future, we’ll be able to enjoy different point-of-interest (PoI) information and personal property tags for proximity data.

Know what direction is Bluetooth coming from or where it is strongest will help mobile device users who depend on Bluetooth for connectivity. The more accurate the better. The closer the information the more useful it will be that may benefit asset tracking, indoor positioning systems (IPS), and real-time locating systems (RTLS).

Bluetooth SIG Executive Director Mark Powell xplained the importance of the update: “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.”

The Bluetooth 5.1 update will be coming soon. It will already include the direction finding feature. The Bluetooth Core Specification can be checked by developers and OEMs to see if they need to make necessary changes as well.

SOURCE: Bluetooth SIG