Beacons are small electronic devices that repeatedly transmit Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals. Bluetooth-equipped devices or objects can pick up these signals, allowing the indoor localization and tracking of both people and assets.
Beacon technology emerged in 2013, when Apple introduced the iBeacon standard. Since then, plenty of new players have entered the market. While the technology was slow to catch on at first, companies are now beginning to see the wide range of possibilities it has to offer.
Beacon technology was first picked up by retailers, who use it to pinpoint the locations of customers in or near stores. They use beacon signals to send proximity-based notifications such as coupons or personalized offers.
The applications listed above are still just tip of the iceberg. Beacons are simple and cheap devices, but with the right software, they open up a world of opportunities. Combined with IoT sensors, the scope widens even further.
Whether you’re aiming for operational excellence or improved customer experience, beacons can help. The technology promises to evolve rapidly, so in order to unlock future value, businesses should begin by exploring the many possibilities beacons have to offer.
The internet of Things is what drives smart cities, industry 4.0 and the factories of the future.