Tag Archives: Bluetooth Low Energy

Market Trend: Beacons Permeating into Diverse Industry

Beacon Market Trend: Beacons Permeating into Diverse Industry

Beacon Market Trend
New Markets of Beacon

A recent report by ABI Research revealed that BLE Beacons will expand into Personal Tracking, IoT, RTLS(Real Time Location Service) and Asset Tracking markets.

Over six million BLE beacons are already being shipped for personal tracking usage, while beacons will continue to improve efficiencies in other industries through RTLS/Asset Tracking.

Also, as RTLS/Asset Tracking require high-accuracy BLE beacons, ABI Research forecasted these areas may provide huge potential for the beacon hardware vendors.

Click here for the original report!

As presented above, the formerly retail-oriented beacons are now stepping into other industries.

We, Perples, also saw the imminent change in beacon market trend and launched the RECO Tracking solution last month for Personal and Asset Tracking. Now is the best time to take advantage of the rising technology, improve efficiency, and become the leader in your industry!

For detailed explanations or use cases of RECO Tracking, please refer to the link :D

RECO Tracking Use Cases #1. Optimal Resource Distribution Through Vehicle Tracking

Fork-lift trucks are one of the necessities in factories or warehouses that stacks a large amount of products. As much as it is widely used, the efficient usage of such vehicles can drive up the productivity by a significant margin.

Thus, we will talk about how to optimize resource distribution by RECO Tracking, a BLE-based object and people tracking solution. For anyone who is not familiar with RECO Tracking, the post below will serve as a good introduction.

*Related Post: What is RECO Tracking?

 3 Steps of vehicle tracking

3 steps of vehicle tracking
3 Steps of Vehicle Tracking For Improving Productivities

 Step 1. Assign each vehicle with a beacon with unique ID.

 Step 2. Set ‘Tracking Zone’ by installing RECO Manager Pluses at your points of interest. The installed RECO Manager Pluses will consistently look for any nearby beacons, recognizing any ‘Entering’ activities of the vehicles.

 Step 3. With multiple ‘Tracking Zones’ set up, it is not only possible to track the vehicles’ current location, but also possible to record and analyze the movement history of each vehicle.

Also, you can assign certain zones as ‘dangerous’, and get notified upon entrance of any vehicle to those dangerous zones to prevent any potential accident.

Faster and More!

Through this solution, the supervisor gains information about movements of all vehicles. This improvement enables the supervisor to intelligently assign works based on current situation. A company called ‘Bobcat’ introduced fork-lift truck tracking solution using barcodes, and increased the freight carrying efficiency by 30% as a result.

Moreover, as the data on vehicles locations, tracks, and productivity accumulates, operations and productions can be optimized through careful analysis on the cumulative data and making changes accordingly.

As a result, RECO Tracking lets you make the best out of the limited resources.


On this post, we discussed about a way to facilitate operation and increase productivity. We will follow up with the convenience of inventory and asset management when using RECO Tracking on the next post.

For any interest in RECO Tracking, please contact us through the link below, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

visit our homepage to contact us

So, What is Eddystone?

Google launched “Eddystone,” an open source, cross-platform Bluetooth LE beacon format on July 14th. We have been paying attention to this as we are planning to release a version of RECO that can work with Google’s Eddystone. Before the release of the new product, we want to share with you about Eddystone.

Eddystone

What is Eddystone?

Eddystone is another Bluetooth beacon protocol Google came up with — Apple announced iBeacon back in 2013. 2 years after iBeacon, Google is presenting Bluetooth beacon technology that overcomes shortcomings and even more diverse use cases.

While iBeacon was compatible with Android, it didn’t officially support Android; iBeacon was only native for iOS.

Eddystone, however, fully supports both iOS and Android. As Google is trying to come up with an ecosystem for Bluetooth beacons use cases, Eddystone is open source and is available on GitHub. We can tell Eddystone is more open then iBeacon, and Google is planning something bigger with it.

 

google_confidential_roundup

With the Physical Web project, Google Map would be a great app to incorporate with Eddystone technology.

<image: trimlet.org>

What can you do with Eddystone?

Unlike iBeacon, Eddystone supports multiple frame types — which enable the user to decide what to use depending on their purpose.

Here are types of Eddystone’s frame types,

1. Unique Identifier (UID) :  UID is a 16 byte data that can trigger push notifications or planned action, just like iBeacon’s UUID.

2. URL :  Eddystone can send URLs as their data packet. Supposedly, this overcomes Bluetooth beacon’s obstacle of needing a corresponding app. Since this is similar to the concept of Physical Web, and at this point you need Physical Web scanner app to open the URL data from Eddystone.

3. Ephemeral Identifier (EID) : The purpose of EID is security, which is a very sensitive topic in beacon industry. If Eddystone can support reliable security, there will be much more opportunities open up to beacon technology.

What is EID?
Ephemeral Identifier is an ID temporary given, so only the authorized user can access the ID.

4. Telemetry Data : When a bigger scale of beacons is installed, this frame type will be very useful. Google is planning to implement this feature with Google Now.

Google Eddystone

Imagine your life with beacon, where you can get information at right time, right place.

<image: Google Developers Blog>

 

RECO, we are Eddystone ready.

RECO Beacon’s lates firmware now supports Eddystone. You can place your order from September.  With the same reliable hardware and proprietary software, RECO is looking forward to expanding in beacon industry.

 

Bonus – Why is it called Eddystone?

Google says it’s named after the Eddystone Lighthouse in the UK. The motif is that beacons guide users and apps in the real world the same way lighthouses guide ship captains in the night. We also explained why a lighthouse is often used as a metaphor for a Bluetooth beacon in our previous post. Take a look at it if you want to understand more about the concept of beacons – no matter it is Eddystone or iBeacon, both follow the same concept.

 

Why is RECO Manager needed for beacon managment and whom is it for?

RECO Manager, currently in pre-order, is an innovative beacon management product that connects to and manages all the beacons within its range. As long as you install each RECO Beacon within range of a RECO Manager, you will be able to log on from anywhere and use the web-based RECO Cloud Console to remotely manage your entire beacon system, no matter how large or how far flung.

If you are currently running a beacon service, the benefits of using RECO Manager will come to you immediately just by reading the general description above. However, if you are currently exploring the possibility of implementing a beacon system, you might wonder why RECO Manager is needed and whom it will benefit most.

 

Why is RECO Manager needed?

Currently, without RECO Manager, continuous onsite maintenance is required to provide a reliable beacon service. There is no way to know whether a beacon is low on battery, physically damaged, or even stolen without being present at the installation point. Also, if you want to change the configuration settings of each beacon, the maintenance crew has to change each beacon manually within the beacon’s signal range. These beacon management issues cause high maintenance costs and are the major reasons why many businesses are hesitant on implementing a beacon system.

RECO Manager is a product that solves such management issues. When installed together with RECO Beacon, it allows managers to remotely monitor all the beacons within the RECO Manager’s range and change configurations when needed. With RECO Manager’s powerful beacon management functions, the cost of maintaining a beacon system is drastically reduced making RECO Manager a game changer.

 

Whom is RECO Manager for?

RECO Manager’s core benefits are best utilized in remote/large scale beacon services. Below are some examples of when you should consider installing a RECO Manager.

1. You need to remotely manage beacons

If you don’t have an onsite maintenance crew to monitor the beacon service status daily, the web-based RECO Cloud Console will benefit you greatly. You can access the Cloud Console from anywhere with any device with access to the internet and monitor the beacons. What’s even better is, since RECO Manager will notify you by e-mail in case a maintenance issue occurs, you actually don’t even need to log-in daily.

2. You have multiple venues in different locations and want to manage all the beacons synchronously

If you are a business manager for a national or even worldwide retail store chain, maintaining a high service level at each store is going to be difficult. Every in-store manager has to be trained to monitor the beacons installed and respond according to the different maintenance issue. By installing RECO Managers at every store, maintaining the beacon service becomes a one man job, and in-store managers are only needed when beacons need to be replaced with new ones. Replacing beacons are simple as well. The in-store manager doesn’t need to configure or register each beacon since RECO Manager detects and registers new beacons automatically, while configuration can be done with a few clicks from the Cloud Console.

3. You have a big venue with a large fleet of beacons

Installing and managing a beacon system for large venues such as a museum or a sports stadium is a lot of work. Hundreds of beacons can be installed in a single large venue, making service monitoring a nightmare for the maintenance crew. By installing RECO Managers at the central points, monitoring hundreds of beacons can be done in a heartbeat.

4. You want to integrate the beacon management functions into an existing management system

RECO Manager comes with the RECO Cloud API for easy system integration. If you already have a management system such as CRM, CMS, or a PMS and want to integrate the beacon management functions provided by the RECO Cloud Console, RECO Manager is your solution.

 

To learn more about RECO Manager and pre-order your own, visit RECO website RECO2.me.

RECO was displayed in the Nordic booth at CES2015

RECO was displayed in the Nordic booth at CES2015

RECO at Nordic booth CES2015
RECO at Nordic booth CES2015

As a Bluetooth beacon manufactured with Nordic Semiconductor’s chipset, RECO was displayed at CES2015 to raise awareness about a company that will be at the forefront of the IoT revolution in the coming year. IoT was the biggest focus of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, as it will be in the general realm of technology, and we the RECO Team are glad that we can be a part of it.

What is Possible with Beacons and Bluetooth LE: Dreams Beaconning Reality

With a general understanding of Bluetooth Low Energy and beacons, (if you’re still in the dark, see our previous posts on Bluetooth LE and beacons) now you must be wondering how you can utilize this technology to develop new business opportunities or create unique customer experiences for your services. In order to do so, you must consider the different scenarios of integrating beacons and determine which scenario best suits your need. In this post, we will break down beacon user scenarios into three categories and give examples for you to use as a guideline in determining your own way of exploiting beacons.

Any service or solution using beacons will always have to consider two factors in structuring the user scenario: beacons and receivers. With this in mind, the three basic scenarios for beacons are:

  1. Beacons as a constant and receivers as a variable
  2. Beacons as a variable and receivers as a constant
  3. Beacons and receivers both as variables

To further explain the terminology used here to describe the different situations, beacons are device that send out a Bluetooth LE signal and receivers are devices that detect signals from beacons. Although any smart device like a smartphone or tablet can be used as a receiver, receivers do not necessarily have to be smart devices or even connected to a network, if you set them up planning for that.

To continue, a “constant” means a device that does not physically move to a different location during the entire duration of the service, and a “variable” means a device that is free to roam around as needed. For instance a beacon or a receiver attached to a wall is considered a “constant”, and any smartphone on the street can be considered a “variable”.

beacons are device that send out a Bluetooth LE signal and receivers are devices that detect signals from beacons

Scenario 1 is currently the most well known case of the three, since it is easily suited to a B2C context. The most common example would be a retail store push notification system, where retailers can push information to customers’ smartphones such as coupons, special offers, or product recommendations. Another example of scenario 1 is placing beacons in venues such as museums and galleries. By placing a beacon on each artifact, you can create an automated docent system where visitors receive additional information about each artifact as they approach it. The additional information can be in any form, from simple text and images to videos or even narration in different languages.

Scenario 2 is more challenging to develop as a service model and it is generally more suited to a B2B context. A simple application of scenario 2 would be a cargo tracking system. By attaching beacons to cargo container trucks and placing receivers at the docking sites, you can track the time and place each cargo is unloaded. A more complex version of this example would be attaching beacons to shopping carts in large grocery stores. By installing receivers on every aisle, you could track each shopper’s movement path and use this data to analyze customers’ shopping behaviors.

Scenario 3 is the most unique and creative scenario and has the most room to be explored. A great example of scenario 3 is the lost and found service model. By attaching a beacon to an object or even a person, such as a young child, you can track the whereabouts of the variable objects in proximity to your variable receiver, in this case your smartphones. When the variable beacon you registered is out of range of your smartphone you will be alerted via alarm, e-mail, or even a phone call. If another person is using the same lost and found service, and the lost beacon that is out of your receiver’s range comes into that person’s proximity, he or she can alert you the location so you can track back and find your beacon. This is a great service that can be very useful if it can scale up to provide enough geographic coverage.

Although we simplified the scenarios to consider just two factors, beacons and receivers, it is technically possible for receivers to act as beacons by changing the configuration, which can lead to more application possibilities. The user scenarios and service examples given in this post are just a glimpse of the potential that exists in the world of beacons and Bluetooth LE. However there are also limitations you must consider before jumping into developing services using beacons, and we will look more into those in our next post.

How Bluetooth beacons work?

In the previous post we explained that a beacon is not something totally new, but rather a “concept” that was present all along to communicate through one-way signalling. We also gave a detailed description of Bluetooth LE and Bluetooth beacon. Are you still a little confused after reading the previous posts or learning about the subjects from elsewhere?  Do we understand what they do and why they are a key technology in enabling the Internet of Things that will dominate the near future?

That’s ok, we aren’t used to thinking about one-way communication with smartphones. Let’s consider the lighthouse, another classic example of a beacon, as a metaphor to help us understand better.

Imagine you are on a ship, and suddenly in the distance you see the flash of a lighthouse, sending out a signal for anyone who is looking to see. You then consult your map, checking to see where the lighthouse is on the map and what the map says you should do next. Depending on your goal, you can do many different things with that information. Perhaps you steer around the rocky shore and safely into harbor, or continue on down the coast, or even realize you have been going the wrong direction and turn yourself around.

Now, did the lighthouse tell you what to do? Yes? No? Really think about it. The lighthouse acted as a landmark, but it was you (your knowledge) and the map that did all the work. All a lighthouse does is let you know which lighthouse it is and how far you are from that lighthouse.

Let’s apply this to Bluetooth beacon – the lighthouse being a beacon, you being your device (smartphone), and the map being the app server where the data is stored. As you navigate the stormy seas of the mall, for example, your phone is searching around to find a beacon – if you’ve enabled your bluetooth. When it sees the signal from a beacon, it knows how far the beacon is from the phone and the unique id of the beacon. Then any apps on your phone that work with beacons will send that ID to their app servers and get the designated data according to the unique id of the beacon.

Just like a lighthouse, a Bluetooth beacon doesn’t give your phone complicated data. All it does is send out a beacon signal with a unique id, which apps on your phone then use to get more information from their servers. Many of the benefits and unique abilities of Bluetooth beacons come from this comparative simplicity –but we will talk more about that in another post.

 

RECO website :  https://reco2.me

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What is a Bluetooth Beacon?

A Bluetooth beacon is a small device that sends a unique identifier to any Bluetooth device that enters its signal range. This ID is generally thought of as a “location”, and can be used by various apps and programs to initiate a number of processes, depending on what that ID has been coded to in the app or program.

Originally, according to Wikipedia, a beacon means “an intentionally conspicuous device designed to attract attention to a specific location”. Combined with indicators, it is used to deliver important information, such as to alert those nearby about an enemy attack, dangerous weather, or even the birth of a new prince. With Bluetooth Smart technology, beacons have become smarter than ever.

Now you maybe wondering what is the difference between iBeacon and any other kind of beacon. iBeacon is the trademark Apple uses to label approved devices operating under a narrow range of parameters, which are in fact only a subset of the actual capabilities of BLE and beacons. Can iBeacon work with Android? Yes, they can. All BLE beacons use the same technology, iBeacon just restrict you from using some of the parameters outlined in the BLE standard.

So how exactly do Bluetooth Beacons work? Let’s take a look at the following info-graphic.

How a beacon works

STEP 1 : Suppose a customer enters a shop carrying a smartphone with Bluetooth enabled and an app set to look for beacons.

STEP 2 : When that smartphone comes within range of a beacon, it gets the beacon signal (UUID, Major, and Minor), which the app then decides how to process. If it is required, the app will query the app server to see if the server holds any instructions with a matching signal. If the signal matches, those instructions are sent back to the smartphone.

STEP 3 : The smartphone will then follow that set of instructions, possibly displaying a certain image or a push notification.

Have you ever heard of Bluetooth Low Energy?

–Official but easy definition of Bluetooth LE

What is Bluetooth Low Energy? It is a low-energy communication protocol designed for point-to-multipoint communication of information micro-packets. Adopted by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) as a component of Bluetooth 4.0, it is now marketed as Bluetooth Smart, primarily to be used with smart devices and wearables.

The Bluetooth 4.0 specification also includes the labels Bluetooth Classic and Bluetooth Smart Ready. Classic Bluetooth is the updated version of what was previously called Bluetooth 3.0. Bluetooth Smart Ready is a label for products like smartphones, laptops, and tablets (the hub devices in a Bluetooth connection) that have dual mode chips, which are compatible with both Classic Bluetooth and Bluetooth LE. Bluetooth Smart is a label for products with single mode chips, which operate using only Bluetooth LE technology. In most cases these are beacons, peripherals, and wearables. This means computers, smartphones, and other control devices are generally able to ‘connect’ via both Classic Bluetooth and Bluetooth LE, whereas peripherals and beacons are generally only able to connect via Bluetooth LE.

So what is the main difference between Classic Bluetooth and Bluetooth LE? As you can guess from the name, Bluetooth LE uses significantly less energy compared to Classic. Classic Bluetooth has been developed towards faster connection speed for data exchange. It was originally advanced as a way to provide a secure, robust ‘paired’ connection between devices that could then recognize and self-connect with each other when they are in proximity.

Unlike Classic, Bluetooth LE took a different approach. Not only does Bluetooth LE send a shorter data packet, it also ‘sleeps’ much more, meaning it doesn’t send out signals as often as Classic – and it has greater flexibility in setting the interval between messages. Other power-saving mechanisms have been included which will allow people to enable Bluetooth on their smartphones without worrying so much about battery life.

Since the goal of Bluetooth LE is efficiency rather than speed, it sends data much slower and often much less frequently than Classic, which inherently takes less power. It is targeted at devices with low data transfer requirements, enabling much longer battery life in these devices than what was previously possible. BLE represents not so much an advance in technology as a technology going in a different direction.

 With a focus on being ‘smart’, as the marketing so aptly puts it, BLE has opened the door to many new technological possibilities. Using less energy not only made it more realistic for people to keep Bluetooth enabled on their phones, it also made it possible to put Bluetooth LE in small devices with miniature power sources. Efficient low-bandwidth long range signaling for Smart home devices is now possible as well. These advances are very important in making the Internet of Things a reality. Though Bluetooth LE has reduced data throughput, the tradeoff is worth it when you consider the possibilities it has opened to us. What will you do with Bluetooth LE?

Developing starts here : https://developer.bluetooth.org/DevelopmentResources/Pages/Getting-Started.aspx

 

RECO website :  https://reco2.me

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Welcome to RECO team blog

Hello and welcome to RECO team blog.

Since the announcement of iBeacon and the release of iOS 7 by Apple, Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) and beacon products has become one of the major issues of 2014 in the Internet of Things (IoT) industry. Potentials of integrating beacons to create unique value and customer experience are being explored continuously around the world.

However, we felt that although there is a lot of information on the web, most of it is difficult to understand without previous understanding of the technology. So we decided to open a blog to communicate to the newcomers and help them understand and utilize beacons easier. Also we want to share our insights on the industry and talk about the latest trends and news to the more knowledgeable audience.

Basically, this blog is for

  • anybody who is interested in and wants to better understand the technology
  • business managers seeking for inspirations and managerial tips on utilizing beacons for business opportunity
  • service and application developers trying to stay current and keep tabs on the latest news on IoT and beacon technology.

Some of the posts might be very tech heavy and difficult to understand but we will try to communicate it in a non-tech friendly manner for the beacon beginners and business managers.

Any feedback on our posts via comments, e-mail or SNS (Facebook and twitter) is welcomed. If you have any questions regarding beacon or IoT in general, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will try to get in touch as much as possible.

Thank you once again for visiting RECO team blog and please follow us on SNS for the latest posts.

 

RECO website :  https://reco2.me

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Perples.Inc