Bluetooth has announced that improved direction finding support in its 5.1 standard will allow for greater location services.
Specifically, Bluetooth says proximity sensing will be narrowed down to “centimetre-level” precision.
In practice, this means that users would be able to find objects like missing keys and wallets more easily. Outside of household items, Bluetooth 5.1 could also be used to help someone navigate a public space and find a specific object. This could, in theory, help someone find a particular painting in a museum, find a specific room in a hospital or locate a desired product in a retail store.
For businesses, meanwhile, this tech could help factories better monitor the location and flow of materials and even notify workers of any associated spillages and unsafe areas.
Indoor Positioning Systems (IPS): Bluetooth direction finding supports even greater positioning accuracy for wayfinding systems in hospitals, shopping malls, or airports to improve the navigation experience or require the deployment of fewer locator beacons.
Currently, this tech is only available to developers, meaning that it could be a long time before it’s implemented in actual products.