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How do iPhone know the direction of AirTag ?
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Post 1 made on Saturday May 1, 2021 at 05:40
Junior Member
May 2021
I'm IoT developer and worked in RF location tracking for 15+ years. In Spring Loaded event Apple demonstrated "Precision Finding" feature, that can show the direction and distance. And I'm extremely curious how do they do that.

For RF based tracking technology, distance is easy but direction is an another story. So far all the implementations need antenna array and calculate the received carrier signal phase offset between different antenna sets, so that it can calculate the direction of propagation of a RF wave, a.k.a. Angle-of-Arrival (AoA).

Does iPhone have multiple antennas, or it just do the trick following the old-school wild animal RF tracker way, let user turning around "scanning" signals ?

P.S. On Apple's official page, they claim it's done via UWB and only iPhone 11 or newer can have this feature. So maybe Apple actually implemented AoA ?

P.P.S. In my own experience that RF multi-path kills both ToF (Time-of-fly) and AoA. Very curious how good can Precision Finding work in environment full of metallic surface.
Post 2 made on Saturday May 1, 2021 at 10:05
Super Member
May 2003
I haven't been following this development. Are these WiFi6 phones? WiFi6 can support bream forming. Maybe Apple is using this feature. i also notice that my WiFi scanner application on my WiFi6 Android phone attempts to estimate distances to access points. I'm not impressed with the accuracy.

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