What Is BLE Beacon Technology?
First introduced by Apple in 2013, Beacon technology is one of the latest developments in location technology and proximity marketing. These small, wireless transmitters use low-energy Bluetooth (BLE) technology to send signals to other smart devices nearby. Put simply, they connect and transmit information to smart devices making location-based searching and interaction easier and more accurate.
This technology has come a long way since 2013 and is expected to keep growing. While Apple has been aggressive in this industry, it is worth noting that BLE technology works with Android devices 4.3 and above. This year, the Global Market Insights predicted that the beacon technology market is set to surpass $25 billion by 2024.
How Does BLE Beacon technology Work?
BLE beacons are simple. Containing a CPU, radio, and batteries, each device works by broadcasting a short-range signal up to 50 meters that can signal compatible devices, such as a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or tablet. Because the signal is short, simple, and usually unchanging, the beacons do not require internet connectivity, and thus often have battery lives that last from months to years depending on the beacon. They are small enough to attach to a wall or countertop.
How Could You Benefit?
Indoor navigation benefits are endless with BLE beacons. More and more companies are turning to beacons to transform their indoor environment. They offer the ability to provide an experience based on the user’s proximity to something. The most significant advantage of this technology is that all of this happens in real-time. Rather than being static on a map, an app can describe exactly where you are and provide a wide range of information. Turn-by-turn navigation, check-in, loyalty programs, discounts, and asset management are all examples of how BLE beacons can enhance your environment and client experience.
As BLE beacon technologies evolve, new and innovative ways to leverage their capability to track people and assets in the workplace are emerging.
When customers or visitors walk into or approach an environment with a BLE beacon, the broadcasted beacon information can find their location on a map and provide relevant information. Retailers use this technology as an incredibly effective way to create a cohesive online and in-store experience. It not only helps customers navigate their way through the store but also provides targeted information and discounts.
This innovative technology also provides an unprecedented opportunity for hospitals and other facilities to revolutionize workflow and operations. BLE beacons enable environments to improve location and proximity awareness, drastically improving spaces that are often complicated to navigate. For example, hospitals can improve visitor and patient navigation with turn-by-turn directions and even track patients to ensure they don’t encounter dangerous equipment or areas.
Track & Trace:
Location and proximity-based technology combined with wireless asset management can also deliver better tracking of equipment and resources. Any piece of equipment can be tagged, tracked, or easily located. This technology can even be used to track people, giving you real-time visibility of workers to increase safety and security.
As beacons are now being used for more diverse use cases, a range of new implementations of this technology is being employed. Contact us to discover how BLE beacons can transform your environment.