Since the release of the latest version of the Bluetooth Core Specification, the potential for enhanced location services has opened new possibilities for Bluetooth® technology in precise positioning and proximity solutions. These new Bluetooth capabilities support two methods for determining the direction of a Bluetooth signal: angle of arrival (AoA) and angle of departure (AoD). Some innovators are already leveraging the new Bluetooth direction finding features in their location services solutions.

Last month, I had an opportunity to speak with Ealwan Lee, a director in charge of wireless connectivity solution for GCT Semiconductor and also the consultant for the TTA DF-IOP task force. Experts in the task force are taking advantage of the innate interoperability of Bluetooth, working together to develop cost-effective solutions for achieving AoA on top of their existing Bluetooth system on a chip (SoC) solutions.

Q&A with Ealwan Lee

What markets does each company in the task force support, and what are the solution areas you provide?

GCT Semiconductor focuses on a cost-effective locator solution for the asset tracking profile with their multi-path radio frequency integrated circuits (RFIC). Celfras Semiconductor provides a low-power Bluetooth ready tag solution that supports AoA direction finding features in the latest version of the Bluetooth® Core Specification.

Can you share more about why you decided to get involved in the Direction Finding Working Group (and other groups), and how GCT has been involved?

GCT Semiconductor has been a Bluetooth® solution provider since the early development stage and is constantly exploring the use of wireless radio technology in indoor positioning and navigation. With the introduction of Bluetooth Low Energy, we concluded that location-based services would become available to Bluetooth, providing a significant reduction of the scanning and connection time, comparable to that of Wi-Fi, and a greater reduction in power consumption, compared with Wi-Fi, mainly focusing on the high throughput at that time. Participation in the formal IOP (interoperability prototyping) test activity of Direction Finding Working Group was inevitable.


Enhancing Bluetooth Location Services with Direction Finding

A new Bluetooth direction finding feature allows devices to determine the direction of a Bluetooth signal, thereby enabling the development of Bluetooth proximity solutions that can understand device direction as well as Bluetooth positioning systems that can achieve down to centimeter-level location accuracy.


What projects are you currently working on?

Since 2018, we’ve joined the formal IOP (Interoperable Prototype Test) co-hosted with UPF60 and contributed the test result to expedite the official adoption of the CTES service and asset tracking profile as early as possible.

Why has GCT decided to be so involved with the testing process, including being the local host for the upcoming UPF? How has the testing benefited GCT Semiconductor?

GCT Semiconductor has chosen to exploit this chance for advancing the standardization process. After participating at UPF60, GCT has been asked to serve as the local host of UPF63, and we willingly volunteered to help more companies building with Bluetooth in Korea to join the second and last event in Seoul.

Why is interoperability so critical for this project?

Although a new version of the Bluetooth® Core Specification that supports direction finding was released, it is not the end of the overall project. It is just a beginning. Many services and profiles must be refined through interoperability testing between vendors. That is why TTA, one of the early associate members of Bluetooth SIG and a Bluetooth Qualified Testing Facility (BQTF) in Korea, has teamed up a special DF-IOP task force in preparation of the two-year-long test event in Seoul, and GCT accepted the request to join the task force without any hesitation. We’d like to encourage more members to gather for interoperability testing.

What is the significance of the testing program from your perspective?

In the Bluetooth standardization process, voting cannot be held without undergoing the IOP, which means that tentative unanimous agreement on the written specification cannot guarantee the final adoption of a new technology. This process shapes the idea, making it more concrete and practical. All participants must keep in mind the implementation hurdle, competing with but also helping other members. The IOP serves as a concentric force to various Bluetooth device vendors, assembling them to gather against other competing standards launched on the 2.4GHz ISM band.

Can you talk more about the need for people to get involved with the specification development and testing process?

Bluetooth® is one of the most successful wireless technology standards. Getting involved in the specification and testing process before the announcement of the standard will make participants more agile to the trends of the market needs and new technology. 

Bluetooth Mesh 1.1 Performance

In this blog, we explore different performance capabilities of the Bluetooth Mesh 1.1 network…

ABI Snapshot – Key findings from the 2024 Bluetooth Market Update

In this ABI Snapshot, ABI Research’s Senior Director Andrew Zignani and Bluetooth SIG’s Market…

From Suppliers to Shoppers: How IoT Streamlines Supply Chains

To the average consumer, a product or service is simply an object or entity…

IoT Smart Tracking Streamlines Logistics Management End-to-End

In a world of constant flux, wireless communication revolutionizes inbound and outbound logistics by…

Bluetooth® Low Energy Angle of Arrival Location Solution – Tags, Receiver, Antenna, Firmware, Application Software

The development of Bluetooth® Low Energy angle of arrival location solutions requires multi-disciplinary co-operation…

Exploring the Bluetooth® LE PAwR Feature in Large-Scale Network Testing

Bluetooth® LE recently introduced periodic advertising with responses (PAwR), a bidirectional communication feature with…

Using Bluetooth® Periodic Advertising with Response Feature to Control Wireless Battery Management Systems

In the beginning of 2023, Bluetooth SIG published a new version of Core specification,…

2024 Bluetooth® Market Update

The 2024 Bluetooth® Market Update examines the direction and adoption of Bluetooth technology.

How Can Bluetooth® Technology Enable Digital Transformation Across the Industrial IoT?

Internet of Things (IoT) have come to be synonymous with connected devices during this…

Revolutionizing Online Order Fulfillment: Managing Mis Shipments

Discover how Wiliot, an ambient Internet of Things (IoT) pioneer, is revolutionizing the online…

Why We Need the Ambient IoTアンビエントIoTが必要とされる理由

The next stage of evolution for IoT devices, the Ambient IoT refers to a…

Expanding the Ambient IoT with Bluetooth Remote ControlsBluetoothリモコンでアンビエントIoTを拡大

The Ambient IoT describes the segment of the Internet of Things (IoT) encompassing connected…

Pointr Shares Insight Into Bluetooth Location Services Trends We Could See in 2024

Pointr – an indoor location services provider that specializes in mapping, positioning, and wayfinding…

Six Bluetooth Mesh Feature Enhancements to Get Excited About

The new Bluetooth mesh feature enhancements offer more robust security, improved network efficiency, reduced…

How the Bluetooth® Electronic Shelf Label Standard Will Impact the Smart Retail Market

ABI Research explores how the recent arrival of the new Bluetooth® Electronic Shelf Label (ESL) standard will help create an interoperable ESL ecosystem that can address many of the challenges being faced by retail and other environments.

DALI Alliance White Paper: Sustainable, Smart and Standardized

Designers, architects and building owners must consider a wide range of lighting-related issues, including…

Retail Pharmacy

A leading retailer is collaborating with Wiliot, an ambient Internet of Things (IoT) pioneer,…


EJOT, headquartered in North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany, is a group of medium-sized companies with production…

Bluetooth Location Services

See 8 use cases for enhancing building efficiencies and creating a better visitor experience, discover new data that supports the latest trends and forecasts, and find out what’s driving the rapid adoption of location services solutions.

Designing and Developing Bluetooth® Internet Gateways

Learn about Bluetooth® internet gateways, how to make them secure and scalable, and design and implement your own...

Lighting as a Platform

See how connected lighting systems are being used as a platform to enable advanced building services like wayfinding, asset tracking, and space utilization to improve the ROI of smart building investments.

An Introduction to the Bluetooth Mesh Proxy Function

Learn how to create applications for smartphones and other platforms which can monitor and control nodes in a Bluetooth mesh network.

Build a Smarter Building with Blue

See how Bluetooth increases reliability, reduces costs, and enhances your smart building ROI.

An Introduction to Bluetooth Beacons

Learn how to build your own Bluetooth beacon or integrate beacon technology into your existing products and apps.

 Get Help