Bosch Unveils New Positioning Sensor for Mobiles and Wearables

Bosch Unveils New Positioning Sensor for Mobiles and Wearables

Bosch Sensortec announced the BMP390, a barometric pressure sensor that delivers high accuracy for altitude tracking in smartphones as well as wearable and hearable devices. The new sensor can measure height changes below 10 centimeters thanks to the improved resolution, and is 50% more accurate than its predecessor.

Accurate altitude detection helps to localize people indoors, where GPS signals are not available. The addition of the vertical-specific position to existing horizontal information enables first responders to determine the floor level of smartphone users who trigger an emergency call. "The use of our latest BMP390 pressure sensor in smartphones, enables a high precision localization service that ultimately has the potential to save thousands of lives," said Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO at Bosch Sensortec.

Bosch and NextNav, a 3D geolocation service provider, have collaborated on component specifications and system performance resulting in consistent, high accuracy z-axis capabilities indoors. This is accomplished by applying barometric pressure sensors in the phone and combining them with NextNav’s Metropolitan Beacon System (MBS) z-axis service to determine three-dimensional location and positioning.

BMP390 supports enhanced GPS applications for outdoor navigation and calorie expenditure estimation tasks. The use of advanced barometric pressure sensing can determine whether a user is walking up or down an incline, stairs or lifting weights during a fitness training session. This helps to increase the precision of calorie tracking by up to 15%. Thanks to the improved accuracy of altitude measurements, fitness trackers are able to show exactly how far a user has run, walked or cycled.

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