Bluetooth Positioning Systems Provide Greater Precision

Bluetooth is constantly expanding their capabilities. The introduction of direction finding features have enhanced user experiences and improved location finding solutions in smart buildings. Businesses, like hospitals, manufacturers, construction sites and corporate offices, can leverage Bluetooth’s latest developments to accurately locate life-saving equipment or critical assets. The market demand for Bluetooth location services lead to the enhancement of proximity solutions for item finding and point of interest (PoI) information sharing. Bluetooth tags and smart beacons use active RFID technology for greater precision. Including a direction finding component has revolutionised asset tracking practices and created even smarter buildings.

The most common Bluetooth positioning systems

Bluetooth positioning systems have relied on received signal strength (RSSI) calculations to determine the proximity of one Bluetooth device to another. Most positioning systems require sophisticated infrastructure, like smart beacons and Bluetooth asset tracking tags, to estimate device locations. RSSI measurements have meter-level accuracy, whereas the new Bluetooth direction finding feature has centimetre level accuracy. They use direction and signal strength; hence, the greater level of accuracy when tracking equipment, staff or assets.

The two most common Bluetooth location services used by businesses are indoor positioning systems (IPS) and real-time locating systems (RTLS). These location services have gained popularity in the medical, retail and services, manufacturing, corporate and construction industries.

Bluetooth RTLS solutions for accurate asset tracking

Asset tracking is a crucial part of business operations. Bluetooth RTLS solutions are used in facilities to track everything from pallets to workers. Hospitals use this technology to swiftly locate anything from life-saving equipment like crash carts and defibrillators to wandering patients. Bluetooth RTLS solutions optimise response times and ensure the safety of everyone in the facility or hospital. On a corporate level, RTLS solutions assist employees with locating important assets like keys for storage rooms or moveable office equipment.

RTLS solutions require Bluetooth tags. These are attached to all crucial assets. Bluetooth tags are battery-operated and use minimal energy to power tags. Using received signal strength (RSSI), Bluetooth tags transmit a signal to Bluetooth receivers that have been installed throughout a smart building. Employees are able to determine the general position of the asset they seek.

Bluetooth’s latest direction finding feature enables the RTLS location engine to not only receive a tag’s signal strength, but also the direction of said signal. This has improved the accuracy of asset tracking practice from meter-level to centimetre-level. Construction and manufacturing facilities have greater precision with asset and equipment tracking. Hospitals also benefit from this technology because it will save time when trying to locate a critical piece of equipment or a wandering patient. Employees also gain greater protection through alerts about dangerous areas or potential breaches in security.

Bluetooth indoor positioning systems to enhance wayfinding

The advances in Bluetooth technology spurred the implementation of indoor positioning systems in many industries from malls to corporate offices. Indoor positioning systems can help shoppers, travellers and employees navigate through large, confusing buildings. The Mall of America, Gatwick Airport and the National Gallery of Victoria, to name a few, use Bluetooth IPS solutions to assist visitors with everything from finding their way to accessing information about stores, flights and exhibits. For example, shoppers can access information about all stores offering sales. Then, using indoor positioning systems, can easily locate these stores. Simplifying this process improves the customer experience and increases revenue. In a corporate setting, new employees can use IPS solutions until they are familiar with the office layout, which will improve productivity.

IPS solutions function differently from RTLS solutions. Bluetooth transmitters, referred to as smart beacons, are installed in fixed locations around a smart building. Asset tracking companies, like Iottag, then develop applications that employees or visitors can use to find their way. Smartphones “listen” for Bluetooth smart beacon signals through these apps. They use trilateration, using data from “heard” beacons and the received signal strength (RSSI), to calculate the current position of a smart beacon. Employees or visitors can easily and safely navigate through large facilities to save time. The Bluetooth direction finding feature enables smartphones and mobile devices to leverage the RSSI and direction of smart beacons in IPS solutions. It improves accuracy in location practices, requiring fewer beacons.

Improve asset and facility management with Bluetooth Direction Finding

Bluetooth positioning systems can assist a host of industries with everything from way-finding to asset and equipment tracking. The newly developed direction finding capabilities improve this process by increase the accuracy of location solutions. These solutions have optimised asset tracking practices to increase revenue, save time, improve productivity and protect lives. Visit today to find out more about what Bluetooth tracking services they have on offer.

By Andrew Kelly | Categories: RTLS Tracking | Tags: , ,

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About the Author : Andrew Kelly

After completing extensive studies in low power wide area networking Andrew found himself as interested in the literature as the technology itself. Andrew now writes engaging and informative content at our sunny office in Melbourne, for an international audience.

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