Have you ever heard of the mysterious term beacon? If it’s all Greek to you, don’t worry. Today, we’re going to tell you all about these wireless, technologically advanced devices that have changed people’s experience indoors in healthcare, smart buildings, and industrial spaces. So, what is beacon and how does it work? Keep reading!

What is beacon?

Although the word beacon sounds a bit mysterious, its meaning is pretty clear. A Bluetooth® beacon is a tiny wireless device that works based on the Bluetooth® Low Energy. It constantly transmits a signal to ensure that other devices “see” it. A beacon communicates with the use of a combination of numbers and letters that are transmitted at regular intervals. This means that a device enabled with Bluetooth® capabilities (such as a smartphone) can detect the beacon.

Then, once the signal is detected, the beacon informs the smart device about its location by providing a unique ID number. Next, the device with Bluetooth sends this unique number to the cloud server which takes relevant steps to verify what types of actions are assigned to the ID number. As you may guess, these types of actions are determined by you (e.g. a store owner) and they can be virtually anything.

Beacons are an essential component of any indoor wayfinding solution that helps people in large buildings like airports, arenas, or hospitals to navigate from point A to point B.

How does it work?

Now that you know what a beacon is, it’s time to analyze how it connects to the web and communicates with other devices.

It all started with Bluetooth

Bluetooth provides the right infrastructure for beacons and makes it possible to send data over short distances, consuming very little battery power, thus making it more affordable. The fact that the vast majority of phones have Bluetooth makes the entire system more effective and highly scalable and adaptable.

Beacons vs communication

Beacons send approximately 10 ID numbers every second. A device with Bluetooth receives that ID, the cloud links the ID to a specific action and shows it to the user. With the use of appropriate tools and devices, you can use your smartphones to react to beacon signals and respond in a given way.

The takeaway

What is a beacon? Well, a proper use of this small wireless device can enable various digital solutions to deliver business outcomes, and improve your employees, visitors, and patients’ experience indoors. Delve into the subject and learn how to benefit from the beacon ecosystem.

By Manali

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