Silicon Labs bets on Bluetooth for IoT-based location services
US-based fabless semiconductor firm Silicon Labs has introduced its new Bluetooth-based direction finding solution, which is said to be the industry’s most comprehensive connectivity solution for the Internet of Things.
The company’s retail, industrial and commercial customers can improve their location-based services like asset tracking, indoor navigation, space utilisation, and point-of-interest engagement, with the help of the direction finding feature added to Bluetooth in version 5.1 of the Bluetooth Core Specification.
To date, Bluetooth asset tracking and indoor position solutions have usually provided location accuracy within a range of three-four metres. But the newly added direction-finding feature claims to allow devices to locate the direction of a Bluetooth signal within five degrees, supporting several methods for determining signal direction including angle-of-arrival (AoA) and angle-of-departure (AoD). Now, with this new Bluetooth 5.1 solution, developers can create products that improve location accuracy down to the sub-1-metre level.
The Bluetooth 5.1 also helps developers improve smart home connection performance using GATT caching functionality.
As EDN wrote in a piece earlier this month following the CES event, Rigado – another US-based Edge-as-a-Service (EaaS) provider – is another company betting on Bluetooth. The firm develops components for Bluetooth connectivity, including a chip that supports about 20 active Bluetooth devices at the same time. The company has built its own Bluetooth gateway by developing a device that can host IoT apps and can connect together as many as 100 active Bluetooth devices, which integrate five of its chips, over an area of around 2,000 square feet. Bluetooth gateways can prove beneficial to retailers, restaurants, medical facilities, due to the technology’s useful and low-cost method for tracking and monitoring stocks or supplies.
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