Beacon technology is not necessarily an innovative concept. It was first developed by Apple back in 2013 and has since been widely used in many industries. The system is based on miniature beacons that allow you to determine the location of objects indoors, build routes through buildings, and receive detailed analytics of visitor behavior. Thanks to these features, the technology has already been appreciated by many companies. While in 2020 the beacons technology market had a volume of $3.28 billion, according to forecasts, by 2030, it will grow by 37.7% annually and eventually increase to $103.94 billion.
iBeacon technology is widely used in indoor navigation and indoor tracking. The beacons are compact wireless sensors that are placed indoors and constantly send out signals which other devices recognize. The pulses from the beacons contain unique identification numbers. With beacons, the system can determine the location of both the sensor itself and users/objects nearby.
Beacons work in conjunction with smartphone mobile apps. In the sensor’s coverage area, the app reads data from the beacon, sees which action it requests, and executes the corresponding tasks. Using Bluetooth® beacon technology has many advantages, such as:
To better understand the essence of iBeacon technology, let’s address the opportunities that it provides for companies today.
Smart beacons can be installed in buildings with high traffic and used to provide navigation around the sight. They are a perfect solution for shopping malls, college campuses, offices, train stations, and airports. When visiting these facilities, it’s enough for a person to input the point of interest in the mobile app, and the platform will quickly determine the user’s location and build a short route.
Beacons can be used to navigate for both staff and visitors. For example, customers in stores can build routes to the desired products, as well as develop the shortest itineraries around the mall, taking into account their shopping list.
Store managers use platforms based on beacon technology to monitor junior staff or third-party contractors and set notifications to optimize daily tasks. The system provides an additional communication channel for employees, which increases productivity and reduces the time to perform certain tasks.Also read: The Proven Top 10 No-Code Platforms of 2021
Beacons make it easier to track and control assets. Thanks to beacon navigation, the company’s management receive information about the location of machinery, equipment, and vehicles and can effectively optimize business processes.
For example, in manufacturing, beacons are used to track vehicles. Sensors send out signals at a certain cadence, which allows you to spot vehicles on the map, monitor their movement, and prevent them from leaving sight. Asset tracking provides the following features:
An indoor navigation system using beacons provides businesses with opportunities to organize effective proximity marketing campaigns. Beacons constantly collect information about user behavior, so that they can send personalized ads to visitors. For example, when sensors are introduced into the airport infrastructure, the system creates targeted notifications that contain information about flight schedules, departure times, promotions and discounts at the nearest cafeteria, and discounts in stores within the transport hub.
Proximity marketing is also possible for malls. For example, when a visitor enters the beacon coverage area inside the shopping outlet, beacons determine their location. After that, the software sends a push notification to their smartphone with useful tips or ads (e.g. discounts or promotions in outlets).
This approach increases profits from outlet tenants and increases visitor loyalty.
When active, beacons collect detailed information about customers/visitors and provide management with analytics to make optimal business decisions. With the beacon navigation system, you can get any data you need. For example, when applying an indoor navigation system using beacons in a museum, beacons can collect the following data:
Based on the data received, it’s much easier for museums to plan exhibitions and other events, define object placement, and control visitor flow. Beacon navigation improves the traffic in the hallways and helps find “problem areas” which then can be further improved.
With the coronavirus pandemic still going on, the indoor navigation system using beacons traces contacts and possible infection sources. It can be effectively used in crowded places to greatly improve workplace safety. For example, at colleges, this technology helps identify the connections between students/teachers and other people and determine a potentially positive person who should be assigned quarantine. With beacon navigation, you can get the following benefits:
Contact tracing is carried out with special tags (e.g. bracelets, smartphones, etc.) that students and teachers wear. With this solution, it’s possible to identify entire infection chains, find sick people promptly and isolate them even before an outbreak occurs on campus.
To sum up, implementing an indoor navigation system using beacons opens up great opportunities for companies in business development. With beacon technology, you can create truly “smart” enterprises that will generate high profits and position your company as advanced and innovative.
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