Google is testing a way to measure distance between devices via Bluetooth

Last updated: January 19th, 2023 at 10:52 UTC+01:00

We use Bluetooth accessories in some way or the other, be it the wireless mouse that we use or the earphones that we use to listen to songs on our smartphones. While it may seem that there aren’t many limitations to Bluetooth, in reality, there are a few areas where the technology has some restrictions.

Thankfully, Google is working on a new Bluetooth Distance Measurement API that will allow users to know how far their Bluetooth accessory is from their smartphone. Esper’s Mishaal Rahman spotted this new Bluetooth Distance Measurement API, and Google has already added code for it to the AOSP.

Although the accuracy of distance measurement won’t be precise, the new Bluetooth Distance Measurement API should be able to tell you the approximate location, ie, if your phone is more or less than 1 meter away from the Bluetooth accessory. Notably, the new API will use the Bluetooth RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicator) to measure the distance between your phone and connected devices.

Do note that this won’t work similarly to Apple AirTags that point you in the right direction of your missing Bluetooth accessory. It will surely tell you if you are getting closer or not. As far as the arrival of this feature is concerned, we might have to wait until Android 14 to see early signs of it or for its full debut.

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