Bluetooth technology is widely used in devices such as wireless mice, earphones, and smartwatches. However, there are certain limitations to Bluetooth technology when it comes to determining the distance between devices.
To address this, Google is working on a new Bluetooth Distance Measurement API that allows users to choose the distance between their Bluetooth device and their phone. Google has already added the code for this new API to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). The new Bluetooth Distance Measurement API will provide the approximate location of a phone by telling you if the phone is less than or more than 1 meter away from the connected Bluetooth device.
Android is adding an API to measure the distance between devices using Bluetooth RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicator). This won't be a super precise way to measure distance, but it should be good enough for features like "Watch Unlock."https://t.co/i52UfNjUzy
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) January 17, 2023
It uses Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) to determine the distance between the phone and the connected devices. However, it is essential to note that the distance measurement will be a bit different. This means that it will not provide an exact distance between the devices, but it will provide an approximate distance that can give you an idea of how close or far away the machines are.
This feature will benefit users who often misplace their phone or Bluetooth device and want to track their location. For example, it will be possible to know if your phone is in the next room or if you left it in the car. It can also track the location of other Bluetooth devices, such as earphones, keys, or wallets.
It is important to note that this new feature will work in different ways than Apple’s airbags. Airbags use Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology to provide precise location tracking, while the new Bluetooth Distance Measurement API uses RSSI, which is less clear.
However, it still provides a way for users to track the approximate location of their devices using Bluetooth. In terms of the launch of this new feature, it could wait until the Android 14 version to observe the first indications of it or even for its full launch. However, it’s worth noting that Google is still testing and developing this feature, so the launch date is subject to change.
In conclusion, Google’s new Bluetooth Distance Measurement API is a promising development that will help users to track the approximate location of their Bluetooth devices. It will not provide exact location tracking like Apple’s AirTags, but it will be helpful for those who often misplace their phone or Bluetooth devices. We will have to wait for the official launch of this feature to know more about its functionality and accuracy.