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Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacons applications in various industry verticals

Beacon technology is already a hit among malls, hotels, airports, and retail stores. Beacons can track users’ moment inside a space relative to their distance from a nearby beacon device.

Based on the distance, a beacon can detect the user’s location inside, for example, a retail space and push promotional and marketing content on his smart phone provided the right BLE application is installed.

1. Asset tracking
This is popular Bluetooth LE beacon use case. Instead of broadcasting IDs to mobile devices, the BLE beacon “listens” for the unique IDs of BLE tags attached to objects. Because these tags can be equipped with sensors—for things such as light, sound, movement and temperature—the applications are many, from tracking of wheelchairs and infusion pumps in hospitals to monitor the movement, speed and vibration of an airport baggage conveyor.

2. Indoor navigation
GPS works great for outdoors – but we have all seen GPS solutions go crazy indoors. BLE infrastructure works great indoors and outdoors! A combination of three indoor beacons is sufficient to find the accurate position of a smart phone. Indoor navigation using BLE systems offers turn-by-turn directions, marks the important venues and indicates the recommended route. This is especially helpful for multi-story stores, shopping malls and museums.

Virtual BLE negates the need to have a physical beacon in this particular use case. By latching onto existing Wi-Fi networks, beacon points are able to create a range that resembles a beam of a flashlight. More energy is pushed in front of the beacon antenna compared to the sides. This energy forms a power distribution resembling an ellipse.

The location of a user is determined by assigning a probability weight to each point in the map. After calculating the expected signal strength and the measured signal strength, the location of the device (user) is determined with great accuracy.

3. BLE beacons at events and stadiums
Proximity-aware event apps are found to be 235% more engaging than standard mobile apps at events. And given that, BLE beacons today do not require apps for broadcasting notification on Android, this engagement is much higher. Event marketers are enhancing visitor engagement by leveraging beacons for gamification, frictionless registration, improved networking, auto check-ins and indoor navigation.

Other verticals making the best use of BLE beacons are hospitals, museums, airports, tourism and public venues, like amusement parks and train stations.

4.Beacons for employee time tracking
With a beacon infrastructure in place, managers can track each employee’s working hours without having to go through the hassles of tracking an age-old, cumbersome ‘timesheet’ system. Employees would no more have to go through the stress of clocking in and out every time they step-in or step-out of the premises.

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