Home Technology New Bluetooth features will allow devices to be tracked within centimetres

New Bluetooth features will allow devices to be tracked within centimetres

2 min read

Bluetooth is already quite a revolutionary technology that has allowed us to connect different devices together wirelessly with a decent range and in a mostly secure and reliable manner. The technology has allowed us to now connect our phones and transfer/share data to other things like our smartwatches, external speakers or even other phones and laptops. Perhaps its most widely attributed recent trait though has been how people no longer require the typical headphone jack in their devices anymore as Bluetooth headphones become the standard for listening to audio.

Another big feature of the technology though, but one that is perhaps not as wifely used is the ability for Bluetooth technology to actually identify the location of other connected devices. And now the group behind the Bluetooth standard is developing a new feature which will allow companies to use the technology to track items down to the centimetre. The group is combining Bluetooth’s existing object-tracking tech with another technology, radio direction, in order to get the precise measurements. 

Currently Bluetooth systems track items by measuring their signal strength — but they have a wide accuracy range of between 1 and 10 metres, which if you’re trying to locate your missing phone or device, is not incredibly useful. Having it now be able to pinpoint a more exact location for a device would mean that apps could now leverage the technology to make it easier to track and identify the objects they are looking for. Or as most likely will happen, for criminals to find your smart devices or for governments to track people with unnerving accuracy too. Though to be fair, this is not too different form what companies and agencies are already able to do.

It’s both an exciting and scary new feature that is likely going to create a whole new set of aps and companies taking advantage of it to improve our lives. The technology will of course require a person’s Bluetooth to be switched on for this to work, meaning that those few people who are paying attention to all those conspiracy videos on YouTube will probably want to switch theirs off in fear of being watched.

Last Updated: January 29, 2019

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