By leveraging the low power features and ubiquity of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), beacons have the ability to broadcast short messages within a local area, providing recipients with information or the ability to access further value-added services.
The technology has the potential to drive new business endeavours through the creation of new service models that deliver new revenue streams. However, in order for the technology to realise its potential, designers have to deliver compact, low cost solutions with a battery life that extends to months, or even years.
In this technical article, we will look at the applications for beacons and some of the latest technologies and support tools available that will help designers meet the needs of this challenging market sector.
Applications drive new business models
At the simplest level, a Bluetooth beacon is a stand-alone transmitter that can be placed almost anywhere, either in a fixed location or attached to something mobile such as a parcel. Useful information such as a URL or location-specific facts can be contained in the repeated transmission to allow a Bluetooth-enabled mobile device to capture the information and inform the user.