So, what IS a bluetooth beacon?
A Bluetooth beacon is a small wireless device that works based on Bluetooth Low Energy. It repeatedly transmits a constant signal that other devices can see. It broadcasts a radio signal that is made up of a combination of letters and numbers transmitted on short, regular intervals. A Bluetooth-equipped device like a smartphone, gateway, or access point can “see” a beacon once its in range, much like sailors looking for a lighthouse to know where they are. Beacons are simple devices. If you open one you will find it consists of three components: a CPU, radio and batteries. Beacons use small lithium batteries or run via connected power like USB. They come in all shapes and colors. Some beacons include accelerometers, temperature sensors or other unique add-ons.
What are beacons used for?
- Analysis & Data Collection
- Asset Tracking
How are they different from Geofencing, NFC, WiFi etc.?
Beacons vs. Geofencing
- The main difference between beacons and geofencing is that beacons use Bluetooth to communicate with a smartphone whereas geofencing uses GPS signals. GPS can have a big impact on the battery life of your customer’s mobile device as it requires satellites and cell phone towers in order to pinpoint exact location. Beacons are more precise compared to geofencing and work better indoors. Geofencing does not work indoors and usually works better for proximity marketing outdoor.
Beacons vs. WiFi
- Beacons and WiFi are similar to each other – beacons and WiFi routers send radio signals that are detected by a mobile device to locate or deliver a proximity campaign. There are however important differences. Beacons are significantly cheaper than WiFi routers.
Beacons vs. NFC
- The main difference between beacons and NFC is that NFC does not require battery to operate. NFC tags are also significantly cheaper than beacon devices but provide limited information about customer behaviour and work only when tapped.
Nektar Bluetooth Beacons
Nektar beacons are small, versatile, low-power / low-cost Bluetooth devices that can be detected by mobile devices like smartphones or tablets. When intergraded with the Nektar
platform, asset GPS location is automatically updated when the asset is within range. Our beacons can be placed on smaller tools/equipment and attachments.