Parameterization and Interferences of Beacons
Beacons have specific indicators
that can be used for allocation, differentiation and parameterization. For iBeacons
, these include UUID (association to a superordinate group, e.g. "Frankfurt Airport"), Major (association to a specific group, e.g. "Terminal 1"), Minor (identification of several beacons, e.g. "Beacon #10"), TX Power (signal strength) and transmission interval. Eddystone beacons
have several "frame types" that differentiate them from the iBeacon: Eddystone UUID: (16-digit ID that indicates the group association and identity of an individual beacon), Eddystone URL (freely selectable URL) and Eddystone TLM (current status of the beacon).
Bluetooth beacons normally do not affect other radio networks (interference) and they also do not interfere with medical devices. However, if you install beacons in a space with lots of Wi-Fi signals (for example, at a trade show), then interference can occur because BLE and Wi-Fi share the same frequency range (2.4 GHz). The problem can be easily avoided here by not using channels 2, 3, 4, 13 and 14 when configuring the Wi-Fi and using 1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 instead. Bluetooth uses the remaining available channels to capacity in a uniform manner (frequency hopping). Advertising channels that are used for positioning are marked in red in the graphic. The blue-colored channels are reserved for additional functions such as a temperature sensor.
There are attenuations in the signal dispersion
within buildings for BLE beacons. Corresponding characteristics are taken into account when installing and during parameterization.
Low attenuation properties:
Wood, synthetic materials, glassMedium attenuation properties:
Brick, marbleHigh attenuation properties:
Plaster, concrete, coated glass surfaces (bulletproof versions, etc.)Extremely high attenuation properties:
Metal, water (this includes people and groups of people)
Use Cases for Indoor Positioning with Beacons
There are multiple application scenarios for indoor positioning with Bluetooth Low Energy beacons. Here are some examples:
Beacons enable indoor navigation for airline or rail passengers. Using an app, they can easily find the right gate/track or important points of interest such as cash machines, rest rooms and ticket counters. This works with Android and iOS devices.
Software solution used: Indoor Navigation
Sensors used: Bluetooth Low Energy (beacons)
Example of use: Intermodal Travel Planning