What is a Beacon?
A beacon is a bluetooth devices broadcasts on a regular base an unique identifier allowing the apps installed on mobile devices to activate specific action (e.g. push notifications, guide the user, etc.). The beacon, in order to maximize battery life, uses the Bluetooth Low Energy protocol and has no logic inside. For this reason the logic is shifted to the apps using the beacons.
Where will the beacons be?
The beacon will be installed in the point of interest in the following map:
How can I use a beacon?
As a final user I have to follow the following steps to interact with a beacon:
- Download on my device (e.g. smartphone, tablet, etc.) an app which uses the beacon.
- Activate bluetooth functionality on my device.
- If required by the app, chose the beacon types which I’m interested for.
- Be near a beacon
As a company to use the beacons for my business I need to develop an App that receives and processes the beacon signal and activates specific functionalities depending on the position of the beacon.
As an app developer to use the beacons in the app that I’m developing I need to follow this steps:
- Receive and read the identifier (normally composed by UUID, Minor and Major) of the beacon.
- Send the identifier to the web service asking for the position where the beacon is installed.
- Activate specific functions depending on the returned position.
Which are the typical use cases
Some typical use cases where the beacons can be used are:
- Where is low GPS signal, to provide to the final user helpful information about the location where they are located.
- In natural parks to provide information about locations, plants or oder points of interest where is required a high positioning precision even with low or in absence of GPS signal.
- In museums or other places where a personalized guide could improve the experience of the visitors.
- In showrooms of industries or craftmanship companies, to provide added value information to their customers.
- Indoor navigation, what Google Maps does for the outdoors, beacons can do for the indoors.
- In the shops to help the clients in their choices.