Indoor Positioning, Tracking and Indoor Navigation with Beacons
Indoor navigation with beacons (the most common types are the iBeacon and Eddystone) offer decisive advantages for projects that are dependent on high accuracy and want to include Apple devices. Beacons are typically transmitters in client-based methods. For example, they enable indoor navigation for airline passengers using the app – cross-platform and with an accuracy of up to 1 meter. The server-based beacon tracking of persons or goods is only possible with third-party components (e.g. infsoft Locator Node, Cisco, Aruba).
When you use beacons for indoor navigation, temporary installations, e.g. for exhibitions and in unusual locations are also possible. Mounting the beacons is simple and extremely flexible. The housing is available in different colors so that devices can be installed discreetly. The Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology enables battery operation over two to eight years without having to access an external power supply. Beacons can also be connected to the power supply or use the power supply from the lighting. Paper-thin beacons with a printed battery are ideal for very discreet and space-saving installations, for example, on ISO cards or on advertising materials. They have a battery life of three to four days. The Beacon Management tool integrated into infsoft systems makes beacon management and monitoring easy.
Beacons can also provide sensor data. They may include sensor capabilities in order to allow the detection of movement (accelerometer), temperature, humidity, air pressure, light, and magnetism. This makes them particularly suitable for applications in the field of home and office automation, healthcare, retail, and industry. More on condition sensors
Functionality of Bluetooth Low Energy Beacons
Bluetooth beacons are small radio transmitters that send out signals in a radius of 10-30 meters (interior spaces). The advantages of beacons are obvious: They are cost-effective (three to thirty euros), can be installed with minimal effort, determine a position accurately up to 1 meter and are supported by many operating systems and devices. The new BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) standard is also very energy efficient. Beacons can be used for both client-based as well as server-based applications. With beacons it is possible to detect the current floor.
If the positioning data should be directly displayed on a mobile device (smartphone), the smartphone receives Bluetooth signals from beacons installed in the building and uses the signal strength measurement for localization. The device can also transfer the data to the infsoft LocAware platform®
, where it is intelligently processed. The accuracy of a client-based procedure is 1-3 meters, the range up to 30 meters.
In the case of a server-based positioning, the beacon attached to the asset to be tracked sends BLE signals to infsoft Locator Nodes
that are installed in the building. The Locator Node processes the provided data and sends it via Wi-Fi, Ethernet or UMTS to the infsoft LocAware platform®
. Here, the position is displayed on a map and motion statistics can be retrieved. The accuracy of a server-based procedure is less than 8 meters, the range up to 75 meters.
Bluetooth Low Energy beacons are available from numerous vendors and come in various shapes and sizes for different use cases. Using the industry standard Bluetooth Smart, the solutions of infsoft are compatible with beacons of all manufacturers
. infsoft does not produce beacons itself, but we are happy to put you in contact with corresponding providers.