u-blox Releases Two Bluetooth AoA Explorer Kits for High Precision Indoor Positioning

By Chad Cox

Production Editor

Embedded Computing Design

July 07, 2021


u-blox Releases Two Bluetooth AoA Explorer Kits for High Precision Indoor Positioning
Photo Courtesy of u-blox

u-blox announced the release of two "explorer kits" aimed at allowing product developers the ability to evaluate the potential of Bluetooth direction finding and high precision indoor positioning.

The u-blox XPLR-AOA-1 offers all the required modules to evaluate AoA technology. Functions include detecting whether a person or an object is approaching a door, avoiding collisions between moving objects, and directing a camera at a moving tag.

The kits comprise of four u-blox C211 antenna boards, four u-blox C209 tags, and the required software to leverage AoA technology for diverse applications.

The u-blox XPLR-AOA-1 and XPLR-AOA-2 explorer kits is one of the first complete Bluetooth-based tracking solutions. They can track from the tag to the cloud and able to reliably offer sub-meter-level precision in indoor environments.

Designed for low power consumption, simple deployment, and low cost of ownership, the u-blox XPLR-AOA-1 and XPLR-AOA-2 explorer kits make it simpler to test the technology's capability:

  • access control
  • collision detection
  • smart appliances
  • indoor positioning
  • asset tracking.  

Both explorer kits use the u-blox NINA-B4 Bluetooth 5.1 low energy module featuring Nordic Semiconductor's nRF52833 Bluetooth® Low Energy System-on-Chip (SoC).

Running on the SoC's embedded MCU, u-blox u-connectLocate software calculates the angles of the incoming signals with no additional processing required. In the case of the XPLR-AOA-2, a positioning engine software is included to triangulate the position of the tag.

Bluetooth direction finding makes it feasible to verify the direction the radio signals are traveling from a mobile tag to one, or several, fixed anchor points. Using angle-of-arrival (AoA) technology, anchor points comprising of an antenna array is connected to a Bluetooth receiver and detects the direction, or angle, to the mobile tag, which then transmits a Bluetooth signal. When multi-antenna anchors are deployed, AoA technology can be used to zero in on the precise location of a mobile device or tag.

u-blox is collaborating with Traxmate, to offer a hardware-agnostic, cloud-based tracking system that makes it easier to set up the tracking environment, create buildings, upload floor plans, and specify the placement of the anchor points.

For more information, visit: ublox.com.

Chad Cox. Production Editor, Embedded Computing Design, has responsibilities that include handling the news cycle, newsletters, social media, and advertising. Chad graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a B.A. in Cultural and Analytical Literature.

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