Alps Alpine will soon start supply of a High-Accuracy Positioning System Evaluation Kit employing a Bluetooth® Low Energy chip in November 2020 in recognition of heightened positioning needs.
There is a growing demand for high-accuracy positioning systems in the Internet of Things (IoT), the automotive industry, and a wide range of other sectors, including production and logistics. In the automotive industry, alongside personal recognition, the ability to pinpoint the location of a device is essential for enabling Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) offerings, such as smartphone-based digital keys.
However, positioning has often come with issues relating to practicality and the burden on development resources – for example, requirements for physical scanning using barcodes or IC tags, or development of high-end systems employing GPS and Wi-Fi®.
In responding to these issues, Alps Alpine has taken steps to commercialize positioning modules using sub-GHz bands, including its Long-Lifetime Asset Tracker for logistics operations. The company is currently pursuing additional development of high-accuracy positioning technology employing a Bluetooth® Low Energy chip, aiming for commercialization and a start to mass production during 2021.
In advance of this, Alps Alpine has developed an evaluation kit for use with a high-accuracy positioning system. The kit will be available November 2020. Alps Alpine’s high-accuracy positioning technology employs an original position detection algorithm developed by American firm Greina Technologies. Alps Alpine acquired Greina Technologies in May 2018.
The system achieves high-accuracy positioning due to being able to measure the angle of arrival (AoA) and time of arrival (ToA) simultaneously. Positioning employs a Bluetooth® Low Energy chip that has been adopted widely in the market, enabling easy data communication with existing systems that already use Bluetooth®. The system therefore has excellent potential for implementation in society.