u-blox launches Bluetooth indoor positioning antenna board

u-blox has announced the u-blox ANT-B10 antenna board for Bluetooth direction finding and indoor positioning applications.

Designed for integration into commercial end-products, the board enables low power, high precision indoor positioning and speeds up evaluation, testing, and commercialisation of Bluetooth direction finding and indoor positioning solutions.

Bluetooth indoor positioning uses the angle of arrival (AoA) of a Bluetooth direction finding signal emitted by a mobile tag at several fixed anchor points to calculate the tag’s location in real-time with sub-meter accuracy.

The ANT-B10 is a self-contained Bluetooth low energy antenna board for direction finding and indoor positioning. It features an antenna array comprising eight individual patch antennas and is built around a u-blox NINA-B411 Bluetooth 5.1 module. After processing incoming RF signals emitted by mobile tracker tags in the module’s radio and angle calculation processor, the solution outputs the calculated angle of arrival without requiring any additional processes.

The release also includes the XPLR-AOA-3 explorer kit which features an application board, which offers developers a quick and easy way to evaluate and test the ANT-B10 antenna board, as well as u-blox’s direction finding algorithm.

An off-the-shelf pin header on the application board allows for easy bring-up and testing of ANT-B10 and third-party antenna boards. And connecting the two boards yields a ready-to-use AoA indoor positioning anchor point in seconds.

Using u-connectLocate, which runs on ANT-B10’s Bluetooth module, solution developers can easily execute the angle calculation algorithms using AT commands. When combined, the solution suite is ready to go for end-product integration.

Common use cases for Bluetooth indoor positioning and direction include tracking assets in industrial settings such as in warehouses as well as people and things in hospitals, retail environments, or museums.