Beacons & BLE
A beacon is any device that transmits a signal which allows another device to determine its proximity to the broadcaster. In a store, a beacon lets a customerâ€™s app determine that itâ€™s close to the candy aisle. The beacon doesnâ€™t transmitÂ content, it simply transmits a signal that lets a userâ€™s phone or tablet figure out what its proximity to the beacon. The content (a coupon, for example) is delivered separately to the userâ€™s app. So, a Micro-Location Beacon or iBeacon (Apple Inc. Marketing term) is a BluetoothÂ® Low Energy (BLE) transmitter. BLE Beacons can be either a tiny low cost sensor or a BLE enabled mobile device, like an iPhone or iPad.
Bluetooth Low Energy
This is the specification for one type of signal that beacons transmit. There are other types of signals that power beacons (e.g. audio signals) but Bluetooth LE has the advantage that it is low energy and is â€˜nativeâ€™ to most modern phones and tablets.
Multiple devices are capable to receipt the bluetooth’s beacon signal, so the user can use the tech regardless of the used platform.
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Smartphones that are in range are able to ‘hear’ the beacon’s signals and estimate their location very precisely, as well as communicate with the beacon to exchange data and information. Imagine a large shopping mall. Automatic notifications will guide users to their favorite shops. This technology provides mobiles apps a whole new level of location awareness without the power drain of GPS. Beacons give you the ability to precisely mark locations such as stores, exhibits, events, displays, and other locations with specific identifiers.