A beacon, is in the context of location-based services belonging to the family of connected objects, is small hardware that enables data transmission to mobile devices within a specific range of the device. Beacons are cost-effective, easy to deploy, and popular ways to engage customers across industries. They are small standalone devices that are attached to walls or objects in the environment. The simple beacon sends out a signal to the cloud connecting sensors and resources for temperature and motion detection.
The devices are low power with a battery life of several years and are inexpensive. Beacons are used to work like lighthouses sending an intermittent signal that can detect entities within a range. The beacon emits a radio signal picked up by nearby mobile devices equipped with the associated app; however, light signals have helped navigate the sailors for thousands of years. Electronic beacons are used to provide precise location and cues within the app to help guide the world. It has improved business engagement with customers, bringing the experience to the next level with increased growth prospects for the companies.
What is Beacon technology?
When it comes to technology beacon devices are the heart of beacon technology, and they look like small devices empowered by CPU, radio and batteries. Beacons use wifi or Bluetooth low energy technology, to sending an identifier
Repeatedly to mobile devices nearby. The beacon identifier contains ads, Special offers, links, to perform functions that have been programmed. Beacon use proximity technology and preset trigger actions with tracking human presence in delivering information which is Contextual and personalized experiences.
Beacon technology offers a new context for an old concept as Apple introduced beacon technology. In a short period, the technology spawned many beacon types and many startups. Beacons were straightforwardly useful in terms of low price tag and providing and engaging customers in a non-intrusive way and established retail companies reaping with its benefits. To track and send notifications for Bluetooth beacon you need user permission.
How does Beacon work?
When a positioning system or IoT network with a beacon is set a user who walks past the area will get a message notification in their mobile device from the nearest beacon. This message pops up with a third party or branded app.
To make a beacon-based system work, you need three things such as
- Mobile app
- At least one more beacon device
- User’s permission
With the help of a beacon, you can gather information on a customer spending a particular time on a specific Store. The product section was attractive to him with this info is figured onto advertising that targets and perpetuates customer experience and improves the product suggestions.
BLE As Bluetooth Beacon Technology
It relies on Bluetooth low energy (BLE) to send messages at regular intervals. It is efficiently developed for the Internet of Things applications and devices like beacons in Bluetooth technology. Technology power is cheaper compared to classic Bluetooth, with 60 to 80 percent. In a BLE a beacon needs only one coin cell battery every three years.
Benefits of Beacon Technology
A beacon in it has so much potential and lots of applications. When it was first introduced, it had some available functions, but in advanced technology, it has all parts.
Types of Beacons
Beacon devices vary in size, use case, battery performance, the ability to resist exogenous factors all these things have flooded the market. And the most common types of beacon are.
- Standard beacon
- Portable/small beacon
- USB beacon
- Video beacon
- AI beacon
- Parent beacon
- Sticker beacon
- A dedicated beacon
- Apple beacon
- Alt beacon
# Standard beacon
It looks like small Wi-Fi which works best for indoor tracking.
# Portable/small beacon
It is no less than a credit card and suits proximity solutions and asset tracking
# USB beacon
The USB beacon looks like a flash drive with a portable, small and convenient to play
# Video beacon
It is a small device aimed at delivering videos, and digital signage is usually a Bluetooth device plugged to the back of the screen.
# AI beacon
AI beacon detects gestures and movements and is empowered by machine learning algorithms
# Sticker beacon
It is the smallest type in beacon and works perfectly for asset tracking.
# Parent beacon
It looks like ample router WiFi which gathers data from other beacons and sends to cloud storage of Bluetooth beacon network which manages it and so on.
# A dedicated beacon
A dedicated beacon is resistant to antistatic, UV water, dust, and other exogenous as it works in harsh environments and is suitable for tracking indoor activities.
Beacons vary in specifications which include
Apple beacon is also known as beacon is a dominant player in beacon Technology which comes in different types like Universal Serial Bus (USB) sticks and small coin cell device. It was introduced in 2013 as one of the commonly used types of beacon out there. Apple ibeacon is cm compatible with both Android and IOS and is easy to implement in any environment. They have assured licensing requirements. Apple ibeacon is perfect for straightforward UUID broadcasting of notifications.
Alt beacon and ibeacon are similar, and this is another one type of beaconS that was designed by Radius networks a few years ago. Alt beacon takes a more streamlined approach to API, which makes it more flexible in terms of Operational customization. It is designed to create a specific open market for beacon applications. Anyone can use to implement beacons using their technology free to use, but it’s a bit harder to handle.
Eddystone is Google’s take on beacon Technology which was introduced in 2015 comparing the other two Apple beacon and Alt beacon it has more features such as standard UUID. It has an Apache Open License and open beacon format, making a better instrument for engaging new audiences. Eddystone beacon can send URLs and allow businesses to manage their beacon using the proximity beacon applications programming interface.
The Future of Beacons Application
Bluetooth beacon can be utilized in many different ways in future; for example, you can operate using smartwatches give updates to the client alongside utilize beacon. It is more useful and helpful than taking out one’s cell phone each time to check the notification. Nowadays BLE beacons are widely used in Industries, Airports, Hospitals, Restaurants, Schools and Mall. It is essential to create a reference beacon to utilize the developer boards, which allows designers to experiment with test scenarios which isn’t an alternative method for business beacons.
Beacon Technology Pros And Cons
In beacon Technology, it has a wide array of advantages and benefits with few disadvantages
1. It has easy to adopt features, as most beacon devices are quick to deploy. Deploying beacons is comfortable with parent beacons on a large scale. And beacons like USB beacons are easy to install as computer mice.
2. Beacons are produced at low-cost materials like plastic, making more effective than other state parts of the technologies.
3. Beacon Technology allows companies with tailored made customers experience to send personalized ads and notifications.
4. Beacons have reliability and scalability levels as they are dependable devices, unlike GPS, they use Bluetooth. Some. Beacon suppliers offer beacon which reinforced against exogenous factors
5. Beacon Technology has vast outreach among the smartphone devices so that a customer can reach out virtually to anyone anywhere.
6. The majority of beacon Technology has a straightforward implementation which offers a software development kit and back end management tools to integrate beacon solutions with existing applications.
1. A mobile app is a must for beacons, as in most cases, it works only with paired mobile apps. If you want to deliver a smooth experience, you need to install third-party applications so that your customers will enjoy it.
2. Many of the beacon-based solutions required User consent as the flow of content from all sides seems. Customers offer Bluetooth on their smartphones if they prefer to miss out on the beacon Technology experience even if it is non-intrusive.
3. In most of the industries, the use of Beacon Technology is straightforward and effectively used by hotels and marketing companies that develop smart solutions. But in other cases, you either need to be creative or hire a software engineer who has expertise in beacon-based or geofencing solutions. It will take time if your company is based out of a small, medium-sized business or a big enterprise that needs scalable solutions.