Real World Range of AoA/AoD and Bluetooth 5.1 Indoor Capability

I've seen a few demos of the AoA and AoD features of Bluetooth 5.1.  In general these demos are highly controlled are done at ranges of ~1m between the Tag and Receiver.  For indoor Location/Positioning was is the realistic range that AoA/AoD will work considering the effects of indoor multi-path propagation?  There has been much made about the increase accuracy of 5.1 compared to traditional RSSI triangulation, but I'm unclear how it address the indoor multi-path problem.  Can some comment on this?  Is the method uses less prone to these issues?

-DC

  • Hi Dave

    Both these questions depend heavily on the antenna array and software that processes the IQ samples. We do not have any set in stone details on the range or what antenna array we plan to use as of yet, but we plan to provide an antenna reference design, software examples, and a whitepaper at a later point in time. Sadly, we don't have an estimate of a release date for these.

    Best regards,

    Simon

  • Hi Dave,

    As Simon mentions the specification doesn't address the multipath problem directly. It only specifies the packet format (CTE), timing for the antenna switching/sampling and how the IQ data must be presented over HCI. The multipath problem must be handled by algorithms processing the IQ data, this is out of scope of the spec. So it is not handling directly, but it enables the algorithms to handle it.

    It is difficult to say something definite about range, independent of the environment, hardware design and IQ algorithms, I recommend to check out a company called Quuppa. They have been doing AoA for several years, in a proprietary way, but with standard BLE radios. Proprietary or standardized, the tools are the same, so the performance should be similar. They are experts in this field, and I would say that the range/accuracy they obtain sets the maximum expectation for what you can do with 5.1. They are for example tracking ice hockey players/puck real time, see "Finish Hockey League..." video here.