Tag Archives: Internet of thing

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 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

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

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.