Beacons have been generating buzz since 2013 not just in the US but all around the world. Beacons began with the introduction of iBeacon which is a protocol that lets Bluetooth device transmit data in small bits. In 2015, Google started EddyStone, their alternative for iBeacon, since then it is referred as Beacon Technology.
In simple words, Beacon is a small Bluetooth radio transmitter that transmits a small amount of data through Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) up to 150 feet. Beacon technology strengthens the EngagePHD platform (a cloud-based content management system that allows users to manage their content from anywhere with an internet connection). Different markets like retail, airlines, restaurants and hotels can use this technology for marketing, branding and loyalty by sending coupons, offering navigation services, personalized ads, promotions, product information and calls to action. Chicago based ITConnectUS is artful in exploring Beacon technology for cooler capabilities and diverse solutions. We are experts in using EngagePHD, cloud-based content management software and digital communication technologies.
How this technology works
The beacon sends out its ID numbers about ten times every second (sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on its settings). A nearby Bluetooth-enabled device, like your phone, picks up that signal. When a dedicated app recognizes it, it links it to an action or piece of content stored in the cloud and displays it to the user. You can “teach” your app how to react to a beacon signal by developing using third-party tools. All the beacon has to do is connect your exact location to the app, and the rest is up to the program. The possibilities with this new technology are endless.
How does a Beacon looks-like on the inside?
Beacons are very small, simple devices similar to a router which can be hanged or placed anywhere. This is a latest technology having impact of Nano technology. It contains a CPU, radio, and batteries. Beacons often use small lithium chip batteries (smaller and more powerful than AA batteries) or run via connected power like USB plugs. They come in different shapes and colors, may include accelerometers and temperature sensors. However, they all functions to transmit singles to smartphones for data transfer.
Usage of Beacons
Tracking: In manufacturing and transport, managers need to know exactly where goods are at any given time. Beacons can provide them with required real-time information.
Navigation: Creating accurate “GPS for indoor navigation” is a popular beacon use case. What Google Maps does for the outdoors, beacons can do for the indoors. They can tell you where you are and where you’re going to a museum, festival, or train station.
Interaction: It can make reactions automated and trigger events. For example – If you make a purchase at your local cafe, beacons help the app register that you were there. After a certain number of entries, you will receive a message for a free coffee.
Security: Beacons can automatically send notifications (either to app users or property owners) about a safety issue. Beacons can also be paired with geo-fencing to add an extra layer to data security.
Analysis: Beacon is capable of storing data and can generate easy to understand reports for analysis purposes.