The group behind the Bluetooth standard says it’s developed a new feature that’ll allow companies to track items down to the centimeter. The group is combining Bluetooth’s existing object-tracking tech with another technology, radio direction, in order to get the precise measurements. This could radically change tracking technology, like Tile’s solution for locating lost objects.
Right now, Bluetooth systems track items by measuring their signal strength — but they have a wide accuracy range of one and 10 meters. Now, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group is adding the ability for gadgets to know exactly what direction a signal is coming from, not just its distance, to make that measurement more exact.
With this feature turned on, Bluetooth trackers could tell users where an item is down to the centimeter, the group says. That’s great for locating missing gadgets, but it could also be used to improve the accuracy of tracking in indoor spaces where Bluetooth beacons are used to help people navigate. Generally, if you’re using Bluetooth tracking, it could prove helpful, but I’m also nervous anytime a company can know exactly where I am at any moment.