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Bluetooth-based Location Tracking to Improve with New Feature

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In a bid to improve location-based services, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) is adding a new direction finding feature to the version 5.1, combining its existing object-tracking technology with radio direction to enable tracking a device to a centimetre-level location accuracy.

By including the new direction finding feature, Bluetooth proximity solutions could add support for device direction capability, the Bluetooth SIG wrote in a blog post on Monday.

Bluetooth-enabled proximity solutions and positioning systems use the wireless technology to determine the physical location of devices with real-time locating systems (RTLS) and fuel item finding solutions like personal property tags as well as point-of-interest (PoI) information solutions.

Right now, Bluetooth systems track items by measuring their signal strength within the high accuracy range of one and 10 meters.

“Location services is one of the fastest growing solution areas for Bluetooth technology and the Bluetooth community continues to seek ways to further grow this market with technology enhancements that better address market needs worldwide,” said Mark Powell, Executive Director, Bluetooth SIG.

Representational image.

The new direction finding feature is intended to help Bluetooth enable the deployment of improved location services in the existing markets and expand its use-opportunities for newer apps and cases.

“Location-based services are forecasted to reach over 400 million products per year by 2022,” Powell added.

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While the Bluetooth SIG tool — that is used to qualify new Bluetooth products is being updated to support this feature, version 5.1 of the Bluetooth core specification has been made available to the developers.

Founded in September 1998, the Bluetooth SIG is the standards organisation that oversees the development of Bluetooth standards and the licensing of Bluetooth technologies and trademarks to manufacturers. (IANS)

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Google Expands Its Advanced Location Tracking System to the US

The location is computed on the device and delivered directly to emergency providers only when you explicitly call an emergency number.

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A Google logo is seen at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

Google is expanding its advanced location tracking feature for Android called “Emergency Location Service (ELS)” to the US.

Launched in 2016 and is currently available in 14 countries (excluding India), ELS provides accurate locations both indoors and outdoors by using a combination of GPS, Wi-Fi, mobile networks and sensors.

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The location tracking service is compatible with Android version 4.0 and above.

“Google is deploying ELS in the US, including the Virgin Islands, in partnership with emergency technology company RapidSOS and wireless service providers T-Mobile and West,” Jen Chai, Product Manager, Android, Google wrote in a blog-post late on Wednesday.

“Wireless providers like T-Mobile have existing ways to share emergency locations with emergency centers, but this integration with ELS will help deliver higher accuracy locations faster than before,” Chai wrote.

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Launched in 2016 and is currently available in 14 countries (excluding India) Wikimedia Coomons

Since the launch of ELS around the world, the most observed impact of the feature has been in critical, emergency situations by shortening emergency response times.

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“You don’t need to install a separate app, update your OS, or have special hardware to benefit from more accurate location. The location is computed on the device and delivered directly to emergency providers only when you explicitly call an emergency number,” Chai added.

The location tracking service is compatible with Android version 4.0 and above. (IANS)