Indoor positioning system using Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE)
The ST BlueNRG, Bluetooth® Low Energy device family includes extensive support in the form of evaluation boards, software development kits, application notes, and design guidelines. These resources help developers implement Bluetooth wireless connectivity in a wide variety of applications, including indoor location solutions.
Asset tracking, ID location, and item finding are just some of the applications that Bluetooth technology and BlueNRG hardware and software tools support and enable.
STSW-QUUPPA-ETAG evaluation software for indoor tracking applications
The STSW-QUUPPA-ETAG evaluation software package is available for the BlueNRG-LP and BlueNRG-LPS Bluetooth® Low Energy SoC. It enables simple prototyping and evaluation of a real-time location system application based on proprietary Quuppa technology and related gateway infrastructure.
The software allows the BlueNRG-LP/BlueNRG-LPS to operate as a Quuppa finder tag according to the Quuppa tag emulation and back-channel specification.
The package includes the ST Quuppa tag emulation library and software application code to build fully sensored device tags quickly. It also features location-tracking capability, multiple sensor data provisioning, and a framework for custom back-channel commands used through the Quuppa positioning system.
- Mobile assets
- Personnel tracking
- Access control
- Automated emergency procedures
Indoor Positioning enabled by Bluetooth Direction Finding features
The Bluetooth 5.1 Core Specification introduces Direction Finding features to enhance the performance of Bluetooth location service solutions. These features allow devices to determine the direction of a Bluetooth signal, enabling the development of powerful, low-cost, and real-time locating systems, indoor positioning systems, item finding solutions, asset tracking, point of interest (PoI), and more, improving location accuracy down to tens of centimeters.
The Bluetooth Direction Finding features support two methods for determining the direction of Bluetooth signals using an antenna array: angle of arrival (AoA) and angle of departure (AoD).
The BlueNRG-LPS fully supports both AoA and AoD methods through the ability to transmit and receive special direction-finding signals and take IQ samples needed for calculating the relative signal direction.
The 3rd generation BlueNRG-LP and BlueNRG-LPS Bluetooth® Low Energy SoC are Bluetooth 5.2 and 5.3 certified. They combine a state-of-the-art 2.4 GHz Bluetooth® Low Energy radio with a programmable Arm Cortex-M0+, embedded memories, and a set of peripherals. The SoC implements the latest Bluetooth features to increase communication range, raise throughput, strengthen security, and save power.
The ultra-low-power radio is optimized to consume as little as 3.4 mA in receive mode, 4.3 mA when transmitting, and less than 600 nA in standby. Together with its very straightforward and highly efficient architecture, the device is ideal for battery-operated location tags and fully sensored asset tracking devices.
ST Quuppa tag emulation
Follow these simple steps to configure an STEVAL-IDB011V2 or STEVAL-IDB012V1 kit with BlueNRG-LP or BlueNRG-LPS SoC as an ST Quuppa tag emulation device:
Configure the port with the following settings:
- 115200 baud rate
- 8 bits data
- 1 start bit
- 1 stop bit
- no parity
- no hardware flow control
On power-up, the user receives a welcome message on the terminal and several messages regarding device state transitions:
BlueNRG-LP ST Quuppa tag application (version: 1.0.0)
aci_gatt_srv_init() --> SUCCESS
aci_gap_init() --> SUCCESS
STORAGE state: press button or trigger acceleration!
ST Quuppa tag emulation is then ready for use in a Quuppa positioning tracking system.
Tools and software
The easiest way to get started with BlueNRG-LP and BlueNRG-LPS devices for indoor tracking applications is to select the appropriate solution from the tools and software section.
BlueNRG-LP and BlueNRG-LPS tools and software are structured around the following three targets:
STSW-BNRGLP-DK: software development kit with a full set of device drivers, tools, Bluetooth® Low Energy library, and demonstration applications. They allow easy evaluation of the device capabilities in several Bluetooth® Low Energy user application scenarios.
STSW-QUUPPA-ETAG: the ST Quuppa tag emulation software provides a simple solution to emulate a Quuppa tag in a Quuppa positioning system.
The BlueNRG-LP/BlueNRG-LPS HW/SW components with associated PC tools help developers build applications from concept feasibility and initial prototypes to final software and HW solutions.
STSW-WISE-STUDIO: this free IDE toolchain is straightforward and fully featured. It allows users to develop, download, and debug the application on HW platforms.
The STEVAL-IDB011V2 evaluation kit includes the following features:
- A professional board based on the low-power BlueNRG-LP Bluetooth® Low Energy system-on-chip (QFN48 package).
- A full set of sensors: MEMS digital accelerometer/gyroscope, MEMS digital pressure/temperature sensors, and MEMS digital microphone to build wireless applications based on sensor data.
- Embedded CMSIS-DAP debugger and drag & drop programming support, as well as USB virtual COM and mass storage capabilities.
The STEVAL-IDB012V1 evaluation kit includes the following features:
- A professional board based on the low-power BlueNRG-LPS Bluetooth® Low Energy system-on-chip (QFN32 package).
- A set of sensors: MEMS digital accelerometer/gyroscope and MEMS digital pressure/temperature sensors to build wireless applications based on sensor data.
- Embedded CMSIS-DAP debugger and drag and drop programming support, as well as USB virtual COM and mass storage capabilities.