Introduction to Bluetooth Direction Finding

December 13, 2022

Locating items or navigating indoors are functionalities with huge potential. Both have been possible with Bluetooth Low Energy for a long time using Bluetooth Beacons, but with limited accuracy. To improve accuracy and interoperability, the Bluetooth SIG introduced new features to the Bluetooth Core Specification.

The Bluetooth SIG introduced support for Direction Finding in the Bluetooth 5.1 specification. There are two major flavors, Angle of Arrival (AoA) and Angle of Departure (AoD). Both flavors provide angle information between a usually static and larger multi-antenna antenna array and a moveable single antenna unit. Nordic added full production support for both AoA and AoD with both transmitter and receiver options in nRF Connect SDK version 2.1.1. This support can be extended to build a full Bluetooth Direction Finding solution.

In this webinar, we go through the following:

  • Introduction
  • AoA vs AoD
  • The physics involved in direction finding
  • IQ samples and how to use them
  • Scope of Bluetooth specification for Direction Finding
  • Bluetooth standard data formats
  • Connected vs. connectionless
  • Periodic Advertising
  • nRF Connect SDK samples
  • Supported hardware tools
  • Partner support
  • Q&A
Download the presentation slides here.

We also recommend watching the recording of the webinar we did together with our partner u-blox. They go through their hardware and software offering for Bluetooth Direction Finding on the nRF52833 SoC. It extends what we deliver all the way to a complete transmitter + receiver solution with angle reporting and further to a full multi-locator solution. Enabling you to locate devices in a 3D space.