What is beacon technology and where does it apply?
Microlocation beacon technology is the newest data transmission standard that has a unique function of proximity, i.e. precise indication of the distance of the device used for localization in relation to the marker, which is a transmitter (beacon). It works with the native Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) smartphone feature called róalso Bluetooth Smart.
BLE – the basis of beacon operation
Bluetooth Low Energy is one of those parametersóin whichóre enabling beacons to succeed. It provides a low downloadór power and fast data transfer. Smartphone, whichóThe mobile phone, which has a dedicated application installed, is able to be recognized and then receives a notification. BLE works as a scanner of its environment allowing it to locate wherever beacons are deployed. Bluetooth Low Energy is implemented in all new smartphones from iOS version 7 onwards.0 and Android versions 4 and above.3. Bluetooth Smart has also recently been added to Windows Phone 8.1.
Inside of a sample beacon
Advantages and disadvantages of microlocalization
It works wherever markers are placed, that is, outdoors as well as indoorsówith a range of up to 100 metersóin length. Ability to precisely determine the distance to the emitter (beacon). Low power consumption – beacons can be powered by batteries, whichóThe lifespan of an application ranges from one to even three years. The disadvantages are considered to be the need for an appropriate application and the continuing problem of „discoverability” Bluetooth. And beacon pricesów. Despite the fact that technology is becoming more and more popular, these devices are still not the cheapest (about PLN 60 per unit), and in order to build infrastructure, it is necessary to use several dozen or even several hundred transmittersów.
iBeacon a beacon technology
iBeacon is a system operated from dwóch years under Apple’s iOS mobile operating system. It was from that time that the buzz about beacons started. It allows the iPhone’and iPads to constantly scan nearby Bluetooth devices. When an iBeacon identifies a beacon, it can run the appropriate applications on the smartphone, even if they are closed and not running in the background. Additionally, Apple’s technology has it that the iPhone’y and iPads can become beacons themselves, emitting a beacon in search of other iOS devices.
The case is a little different for the smartphoneóin and tabletów with Android. By móc to take advantage of notifications sent by beacons, the user must have an app enabled on their device so that it can scan the environment for BLE beacons.
Beacons have found their way to the retail sector, where they play an advisory role, among othersóin the process of buyingów. They change the wayób how people make purchasesóin and revolutionize the wayób consumer data collection. One of the theories behind the emergence of this technology is the demand of theóIn the times of popularization of mobile devices, iBeacons are changing the way of contact with customers. Previous techniques were either too simple (QR codes), not common enough (NFC), or simply did not use the potential of smartphones properly. The flagship example here is the implementation in the Apple Store’ah.
In Poland, on the other hand, the use of beacons is considered to be one of the first implementationsóat the Neon Museumóin Warsaw – smartphone displays images and descriptions of neonóin the museum’s collection with the information about where on the city map they shone during the communist era. The infrastructure is built on beacons from the Polish company Estimote, one of the world’s largest and best known manufacturersów these devices.
Beacons have found and are today used in many industries and sectors, including catering, advertising, education, development, events. Beacons today are merging with the Internet of Things segment, becoming part of Home Automations and more broadly – Smart Cities.
Why they conquer the markets so easily?
They allow you to optimize processes, save money and generate new revenue channelsów. The range of their application seems to be expanding with time, and by connecting to the IoT they are steadily leading the world towards full digitization.