Tag Archives: wearable

RECO Manager and your business – Beacon Management

RECO Manager

Everyone knows that beacons are the future, but so far very few companies have made anything extraordinary using them. If you’ve been following along on our blog or have tried to design a beacon experience for your customers, you probably already know why. In the past, it has been a rather difficult and time-consuming task to set up a beacon system, and just as difficult to change it when you want to update things. All this has changed with RECO Manager.

In the past, when you set up a beacon system you had to program each beacon individually by connecting to it on-site. You also had to maintain an up-to-date map of all your beacons and make most of your change server-side. If you wanted to redo the beacon locations in one of your retail locations it was a major undertaking, requiring very organized planning and considerable effort from technologically proficient on-site staff. This meant expensive training sessions and many wasted hours of skilled labor.

In contrast, the same change is possible using RECO Manager, a single off-site technology specialist, and your regular untrained employees. You create your new plan and simply send them a map of where to put the beacons. The rest of the setup is remotely managed by your tech specialist using the RECO Manager installed at the site. He can reprogram signals on the fly, check placement, signal strength, and battery levels, and even decide groupings. With all this, your new design is possible with much less effort, making continually-updated, beacon-mediated user experiences a feasible reality.

This is why RECO Manager is such a game-changer. It doesn’t  just make maintenance far simpler and cheaper, it completely reinvents what is feasible to do with beacons. What before might have taken you a hundred hours and a painstakingly trained staff at each location an now be done in just a couple hours with a single specialist located anywhere in the world. Real creativity in beacon system design is no longer too expensive to execute. You now have the option to complety redesign your customer’s beacon-mediated shopping experience at will without constantly worrying about mounting costs. RECO Manager will let you get several steps ahead of the competition, who will be stuck using static beacon installations and design experiences customers will quickly grow weary of and discard. Be the future.

Over the next weeks we will introduce specific example usage cases for various types of deployment scenarios employing RECO Manager in your beacon management system. From simple setups to creative masterpieces, we will show you a glimpse of the future for beacon-using companies. Join us on this journey.

RECO Going Global @ MWC, Barcelona 2-5 Mar 2015

Experience the Next Generation of Bluetooth Beacons

Perples will be taking part in MWC 2015 (Mobile World Conference), the biggest tech event of the year, held in Barcelona, Spain, on March 2-5.  We will be demoing the latest in Bluetooth Beacon technology, including our first-of-its-kind beacon management device, RECO Manager.

Visit Us at Booth 7E21, Hall 7

Perples_RECO_MWC_2015

Perples welcomes anyone interested in BLE beacon services, RECO Beacon, and RECO Manager to stop by our booth and learn first hand about the future of beacon technology. We are always open to new business partners from around the world and our business managers and engineers will be ready to answer any questions you might have if you come visit us. If you would like to schedule a private meeting during the event, or if you have any other inquiries,  please don’t hesitate to contact us at biz@perples.com.

We look forward to seeing you at MWC 2015, Barcelona.

Lord of the Beacons: RECO Manager

Three hundred beacons for Miami the Magic City,

Seven hundred for New York the City that Never Sleeps,

Nine hundred for Los Angeles the City of Angels,

One device for the Manager on his comfortable chair

In the office of headquarter where the manager lie.

One device to rule them all, One device to find them,

One device to bring them all and in the cloud bind them

In the office of headquarter where the manager lie.”

 

-RECO Team Blog’s epigraph to “The Lord of the Beacons: RECO Manager”

RECO ManagerRECO Manager is an innovative beacon management product that connects and manages all the beacons in proximity. By installing RECO Manager with RECO Beacons, you can efficiently and remotely manage all your beacons around the world by accessing the web based RECO Cloud Console. You can also integrate the beacon management functions to your existing system with the RECO Cloud API. Pre-order RECO Manager to provide the best beacon experience to your customers.

RECO Manager pre-order started on January 29, 2015

Check out the RECO website RECO2.me for more information

Beacon, Four Things to Consider on MANAGEMENT

beacon infographic

While a Bluetooth beacon may seem like a fancy new technology, remember it is still a piece of hardware and requires a management plan just like any other hardware implementation. Here are four things you should consider about how you are going to manage your fleet of beacons.

 

1. How many beacons do you need?

A Bluetooth beacon can cover an area of up to 70 meters, but depending on the type of beacon service you are building and the information you want to send your customers, you may want to install multiple beacons covering smaller regions. For example, if your goal is to increase the number of walk-ins you get from potential customers passing by your store, one max range beacon on the door may do the job, but if you want to use micro-location marketing you might want minimum range beacons on every shelf. Finally, remember that each beacon can only send a single ID. While you can build instructions into your app to display new messages if a beacon has been in range for a specified amount of time (Need more help? Ask an associate.) or if it has come back within range again (Welcome back!), to send different messages for different micro-locations  (i.e. one message in the men’s department and another over in the women’s department) you will need multiple beacons sending different IDs.

 

2. Where will you place your beacons?

Beacon placement is a major consideration in efficiently achieving your goals with a beacon system. Ranging is critical–devices interact with a beacon the moment they come within range, so you want them to come in range right at the moment you want the message delivered. Design your system with this in mind, and don’t forget that beacons send out an omnidirectional signal–you need to locate them in the center of your targeted message-delivery zone or your design won’t work.

Second, many beacons are pretty and might be an interesting marketing gimmick in and of themselves, but don’t forget to consider structural interference and the possibility of theft when deciding where to place them.

Finally, maintenance considerations may also play a role in placement. Although most beacons have a lifespan greater than a year in general conditions, depending on service design and beacon signal configuration, it can shorten up to three or four months and needs to be changed freequently. In this case, using battery replaceable beacons and placing them so it can be easily accessible is prefered.

 

3. How will you update your beacon system?

If you are considering setting up a beacon system in multiple locations, it is very important to consider how you will roll out updates to each beacon in each location. When you want to simply change the information being sent, you can update the information from the app server very easily. However, if you want to make a change to the structure of your system, whether that be the transmit power of various beacons, the IDs they send, or how frequently they send out a signal, there are quite a few more considerations. Early-generation technology relied on individualized configuration with a smart device from within Bluetooth range and often required a trained technician. Therefore a designated team of beacon managers and on site manager training is needed, which can be costly if frequent beacon configuration change is required to provide the service you need.

 

4. How will you manage batteries?

Bluetooth beacons use Bluetooth LE, which consumes a fraction of the energy regular Bluetooth requires – but they will still run out of battery eventually, usually within a year or two. Therefore, you need to have a plan to check the remaining battery life and to change the batteries. If the beacons you selected do not allow you to change out their batteries, you will need to plan your replacement and reprogramming strategy as well. At the most basic level, this might mean regularly checking the battery level manually while on-site and within Bluetooth range, which all adds up to maintenance cost.

 

Related: What is a Bluetooth beacon?  Beacon, Five Things to Consider on STRATEGY

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.

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

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