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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.

Education: The Next Beacon Hotspot

Over the years, digital technology has revolutionized many domains including retail and travel. Of recent, innovation in the digital and mobile technology space is creating a marked impact on education, particularly on the self-learning and self- improvement side. Such technological developments have the potential to change the way students learn and teachers teach. However, most educational centres are still grappling with the idea of using mobile phones and iPads inside the school premises for learning and communication.

According to a study by Pearson, a British multinational publishing and education company , 92% of students believe that tablets or smartphones could improve their learning experience. Surely, its time for educational centres to welcome the usage of mobile phones within campuses for learning and even better communication.

Coupling mobile phones with innovative ideas using iBeacon technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) opens a host of opportunities and makes the learning experience far more exciting.

Replacing conventional timetables

Traditionally, students are provided with a paper timetable which gives them an overview of their scheduled classes. Few educational centres also allow students to access the timetable on the school’s website. Under these circumstances, having to refer to a timetable multiple times a day before going to classrooms for lessons, can be cumbersome.

Beacons can come in and make things easier for students on a regular basis. Schools can implement a beacon enabled scheduling system, which can push notifications to students on the classes scheduled for that day as soon as they enter the classroom. This can give students a heads up to what classes to attend. It is also possible that the same system can send notifications on the details around a class such as the lessons scheduled for the day or the teacher conducting the session, just before the class begins.

Promoting upcoming events

Most universities host a number of events as a part of their academic year. To make students aware of these events and activities, the administration posts notices on the respective departments’ bulletin boards. Many a time, these notices are either ignored or seen after the event. This is a loss for the institution in terms of effort as well as for students in terms of knowledge.

Beacons can help here as well, by pushing notifications on upcoming events or activities held by a specific department to the student’s device just as he/she walks into that department.

Enabling contextual understanding

In today’s fast paced world, students opt-in for diverse subjects and are adapting to hectic schedules. With this, it becomes hard for students to have a contextual understanding of what is being taught. Recalling previously taught content is the only way to keep up with what is happening. Beacons can trigger this recall by, sending information to students on what was taught at the previous class just as they enter a particular lecture hall.

Other potential use cases

– In the library: The main purpose of a library is to entice people into reading. But with the huge amount of choices, readers are overwhelmed and confused about what to read. Beacons when deployed at a particular book section, can trigger relevant notifications based on the genre of books available in that section. Notifications could include popular books of the same genre, new collections, etc.

– In the cafeteria: Irrespective of whether students are looking to grab a quick bite or order an elaborate lunch, students often spend a lot of time waiting in long queues outside cafes. One way to avoid this is to place beacons at common locations in the university and send a notification about a particular cafe being ‘overcrowded’.

– In labs: Sometimes, the administration of universities optimize for lab equipment too much thus resulting in a shortage. Under these circumstances, most students are often left waiting for equipment, and thus left unengaged for long periods. Beacons can help students use this waiting time effectively by notifying them if another lab has the same equipment available.

Different Ways in Which Augmented Reality

It’s been said that technology isn’t inherently good or bad, it’s how we use it that determines if it’s a detriment or a boon to society. In terms of Augmented Reality – the next big thing – we are seeing lots of benefits in the ways we live our everyday lives.

Even a simple task like going to the department store to buy a new coffee pot is quicker and easier. Instead of having to ask a clerk or find a directory, you will see the path taking you directly to the item you’re looking for. That way you can get to the checkout line quicker and back home to your coffee.

Look around your home, the office, and the store and you will see lots applications for AR. Augray is front and center of the AR experience helping companies to use all of these everyday occurrences as places to market and advertise products, services, and brands.

Let’s look at 10 areas of everyday life that Augmented Reality is making things easier, more efficient, and better.

Exploration.

Imagine you’re on a trip to a new city. Of course, you will want to find the best pizza, a bookstore, and the train station so you can get to your next destination. Using your AR device, scan a street sign or landmark and soon you will be on your way. No more wandering around aimlessly or asking for directions.

Social Media.

With selfies and videos filling up Facebook feeds, AR will only improve the way we express ourselves. We are already sharing what we’re having for dinner or video clips from a baseball game or concert. As AR advances, we will use social media sites to bring people to where we are, show what we’re doing and imagine who we are with.

In fact, Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that AR will most likely operate through the already ubiquitous smartphones rather than using cumbersome AR headsets. “The phone is probably going to be the mainstream consumer platform [where] a lot of these AR features first become mainstream, rather than a glasses form factor that people will wear on their face,” he said during an analyst call last year.

Learning.

History buffs who just can’t get enough information will use AR as an overlay with 3D maps that show what a city looked like at any point in history. Imagine walking down Main Street in the 1800s only to “see” horse-drawn carriages and street lamps illuminated by flames.

Travel.

As much as we’d all like to go to Paris or New York, sometimes our pocketbook doesn’t cooperate. Imagine an augmented trip where you can visit the Eiffel Tower or Times Square while in the privacy of your backyard.

For kids or students (who may not have the money to go on an extravagant trip), AR allows them to have a class adventure and take selfies from historic sites they may only have dreamed of seeing. Also educational, AR allows teachers to use the technology in the classroom bringing history to life rather than droning on with facts and dates.

Entertainment.

By now you’ve heard of the Pokémon Go gaming craze from last summer. It put Augmented Reality on the map. Well, AR continues to advance in gaming by using smartphones and tablets. In some cases, users have AR headsets, which are getting more sophisticated, lightweight and comfortable. Remember, AR gaming is a step up in that it uses visuals and audio in your real-time environment. This differs from Virtual Reality (VR) gaming, which may require a special space to create an immersive environment.

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