While many people recognize Bluetooth® technology for audio streaming, wearables, and other data transfer capabilities, the technology has continued to advance the market for indoor location services and other aspects associated with location-based technologies. In fact, location services is the fastest-growing Bluetooth solution area. More than 250 million Bluetooth location devices will ship this year, and analysts at ABI Research expect to see 3x growth in the next five years. “Bluetooth® is the dominant technology in location services, whether people know that or not,” said Gabriel Desjardins, Broadcom Director of Product Marketing.

Why Bluetooth Location Services

“Bluetooth® is the dominant technology in location services, whether people know that or not.” 
– Gabriel Desjardins, Broadcom

Despite the tremendous growth, industry forecasts, expanding market implementations, and an increasing number of solution providers developing Bluetooth positioning solutions, there are still several persistent myths that suggest Bluetooth® technology is not a viable solution for supporting location services. Some of these misconceptions stem from the concept that Bluetooth technology can only use RSSI to measure the distance between two different devices. An approach that, by itself, can provide meter-level accuracy.

Within the last few years, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) adopted Bluetooth Direction Finding capabilities. Using angle of arrival (AoA) and angle of departure (AoD), Bluetooth® technology receivers can calculate the direction of a signal from a Bluetooth transmitter. Combining distance measurement with Bluetooth Direction Finding can achieve centimeter-level accuracy, further enhancing Bluetooth technology’s wide range of location services applications – including item finding solutions, real-time locating systems (RTLS)(e.g., asset tracking and access control), and indoor position systems (IPS). “Bluetooth technology can allow a company like Quuppa to scale across different vertical markets and provide a different shade and grade of solution depending on the different market requirements,” said Fabio Belloni, Quuppa Chief Growth Officer and Co-Founder.

The Myths & Facts About Bluetooth Technology as a Positioning Radio

Recently, Chuck Sabin, Bluetooth SIG Senior Director of Market Development, was joined by Fabio Belloni, Quuppa Chief Growth Officer and Co-Founder; Gabriel Desjardins, Broadcom Director of Product Marketing; and Andrew Zignani, ABI Research Research Director, to discuss The Myths & Facts About Bluetooth® Technology as a Positioning Radio.

During this discussion, Belloni touched on a few of the misconceptions surrounding the idea of using Bluetooth technology to support today’s location service solutions. The first is that Bluetooth® technology is only good for determining proximity. As mentioned above, now, with the inclusion of direction finding, Bluetooth technology can provide centimeter-level accuracy.

Another common myth is that Bluetooth® technology cannot provide accurate coverage beyond ten meters. However, as Belloni explains in the webinar, Quupaa successfully used Bluetooth technology to track objects hundreds of meters away from the receivers. “Bluetooth is nominally designed for one megabit per second at ten meters range, but when the bit rate lowers, the distance increases a lot,” said Belloni.

Lastly, Belloni said that a commonly held misconception is that successful multipath propagation requires a lot of bandwidth. “Even narrow-band signals, if you apply the right signal processing, can actually solve multipath,” said Belloni. “If you have a narrow-band system, you can’t play with the bandwidth of time, so you play with space. And that‘s where you can resolve multipath.”

To support this claim, Belloni offered some compelling proof to webinar attendees. Deployed across multiple leagues and in more than 90 arenas, Quuppa, in partnership with Wisehockey and Wisesport, deployed Bluetooth enabled location services solutions that track the puck/ball, referees, and players during professional ice hockey and soccer games. 

Check out the on-demand webinar to see more real-world examples and discover how companies like Quuppa are dispelling these myths.


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