What is a beacon?
Beacons are small, often inexpensive devices that enable more accurate
location within a narrow range than GPS, cell tower triangulation and Wi-
Fi proximity. Beacons transmit small amounts of data via Bluetooth Low
Energy (BLE) up to 50 meters, and as a result are often used for indoor
location technology, although beacons can be used outside as well.
Beacons are typically powered by small batteries, but they can be plugged
into an outlet or USB port instead to maintain consistent power. In addition to
standalone beacon devices, mobile phones,tablets and PCs with BLE support
can all function as beacons, with the ability to both emit and receive beacon
When was it launched?
iBeacon was launched in 2013 and officially deployed across Apple’s 254 stores in December 2013.
What’s the battery life of Beacons?
Typical battery life of beacons runs anything from 6 months to 2 years.
4) What devices does it support?
iBeacon supports BLE-enabled devices. For a full list of devices, you can refer here.
What’s the proximity?
A beacon has 3 approximate ranges:
Immediate – a few centimeters
Near – a few meters
Far – approximately 10 meters
How can it enhance my library or
Instead of relying on user-triggered action such as scanning of a QR Code or
tapping on an NFC tag, usage of iBeacons is based on proximity range and can
deliver different contextual messages based on the immediate range of a
beacon. Imagine if you are an exhibitor who managed to get a prospect to
download your app.
Until the lion learns to write her own story,
the story will always be from the perspective
of the hunter not the hunted.
Stephen Abram, MLS, FSLA
Lighthouse Consulting Inc.
Stephen’s Lighthouse Blog
Facebook: Stephen Abram
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