It is a privilege to live in an age where we have improved connectivity. This connectivity is all thanks to the latest developments in the Internet of Things (IoT) and beacon gateway is at their helm. Beacon gateway enables the communication between Bluetooth beacons and existing LAN & WAN. So, it makes it possible to channel communications between smart devices and Bluetooth beacons in a building. This capability is quite beneficial for us therefore, we widely deploy it for various IoT applications. The constant innovation accompanied by a beacon gateway is making it possible for us to build more and more smart systems. And soon we will reach a nexus we will have smart, connected, and sustainable ecosystems.
How to deploy a beacon gateway?
If you are deploying a gateway beacon for the first time then it might seem challenging. However, if you have some expert guidance then you will do it seamlessly. So, the following step by step guide will help you juggle through the process.
Define your Requirements
The first thing you need to do is to define your business needs and requirements. So, you should sit down with your business analysts and engineers and thoroughly go through your operations. You should extensively map down areas where you need advanced IoT connectivity. Once you identify areas where you need IoT and innovation then you can move on to the next step.
Procure and Activate Beacons
Then you need to match the available beacons in the market with your business needs. So, after that, you can contact a reputed vendor like MOKOSmart to ship you the beacons you are looking for. Once the beacons arrive, you can activate them. Activating beacons might seem tricky however if you work with a reliable vendor like MOKOSmart then you will receive detailed user manuals as well. This will make your job much easier.
Installing Beacons Gateway
This step has many subsequent stages. These are as follows,
Find out Ideal spots
You should map out where you want to place your beacons gateway. For this purpose, you should consult the construction blueprints of your building. This will allow you to mathematically calculate where you should place every beacon. So, the rule of thumb is to place a beacon gateway approximately 4-6 meters above ground level. Also, you need to ensure that every beacon gateway has a spacing of at least 9-11 meters. Additionally, you must ensure that your beacons are not in direct contact with toxic elements.
Use the best deployment techniques
You should use adhesives for deploying stationary beacons such as the ones we use for asset tracking. So, we commonly use adhesives like zip ties and glue. However, for beacons that involve a significant amount of motion, we recommend using screws.
Select the best Access Points
We commonly use the term access point for referring to a device that can detect nearby beacon signals. So, you should carefully select the access points that you intend to use. The ideal access point will have the capability to scan Wi-Fi as well as BLE signals. Hence, your overall beacon operations will have more efficiency.
Maintenance of Beacon gateway
If you work with a good firm then you will also have management tools based on cloud computing. This will allow you to monitor the battery life of your beacons from anywhere in the world. So, if a beacon gateway requires maintenance then you will receive a notification and you can address it effectively. The best thing about Bluetooth beacon gateway is that they are based on BLE so they consume very little power. Hence, they tend to have very long lifespans.
Features of Bluetooth beacon gateway
The advanced features of the beacon gateway give it a significant competitive edge over conventional alternatives.
Consumes Less Power
It is a renowned fact that BLE beacon technology is very power efficient. This means that a beacon gateway consumes a very little amount of power. Hence, you can expect a battery life of up to a decade.
Superior Data Gathering
Beacon technology allows us to monitor all sorts of data within the premises of a building. This is very beneficial for business owners because they can record the behavioral data of their customers. Hence, deploying a beacon gateway will allow you to monitor how many customers come to your store, what they like to buy, and how much the time they spend in your store. If you combine all this data and allow cloud servers to implement algorithms on it then you can easily predict bestselling products. Hence, you can increase your revenue.
The problem with most IoT technologies is that you can’t figure out whether they are working or not. However, beacon technology is very responsive. Most beacons come with a basic indicator LED. This LED turns on whenever it is connected to a power source. Hence, you always know whether it is working or not. However, if you buy a beacon from a reliable vendor like MOKO Smart then you can boost this functionality. Our beacons come with multiple LEDs in addition to the basic LED. This means there is one LED indication when the beacon is connected to a power source. The second LED indication is for when a connection is made with the network. And there is a separate LED indication when the beacon gateways are transmitting data to the cloud servers.
Most beacons are very portable. This means that you can deploy them in all sorts of settings. So, most beacons are very slim in size and you can fit them anywhere within a building. This is especially useful if you want to indulge in shadow marketing. The beacons from MOKO Smart have a ultras sophisticated design and they weigh only 136g. Their considerate mechanical design ensures that you can easily fit them where you need them.
How does a BLE beacon gateway work?
- Once you deploy our beacon gateway i.e. MKGW1, it begins to detect incoming Bluetooth signals from the nearby smart devices. These smart devices include but are not limited to laptops, mobile phones, and tablets.
- This gateway then processes all of those signals and records relevant data. So, the relevant data includes position, geolocation, motion, stationary time, etc.
- Hence, when the gateway records this data it then sends it to the cloud server.
- Once the data reaches the cloud server, they apply sophisticated algorithms on this data.
- So, the data is now available in the form of processed information.
- You can access this information from anywhere in the world and at any time. For this purpose, all you need is a good internet connection and a smart device to access the dedicated MOKOSmart Dashboard.
- The best thing about this gateway is that it tells you its state of working during data transfer and network connection. It can do this through its LED indications.
- If you want to change the type of data these gateway stores then you can do it simply by inserting a new command through USB.
Applications of beacon gateway
Beacon technology is making huge waves and is the key to IoT based futures. Some of its emerging applications are as follows,
One of the biggest problems that business owners face is that they don’t know which product to buy in what amount. Therefore, they often sell out some of their products while having a surplus inventory of others. However, we can easily eliminate this problem by harnessing the power of beacon technology. Beacon gateways allow us to monitor which product customers are showing more interest in. So, we can stock our inventory with those products only. Hence, we can effectively manage our inventory and increase our revenue.
Farming is a very important practice as it provides us with important food reserves. Owners of large farms often struggle with keeping a track of their farm animals. So, this makes it very difficult for them to do a manual headcount and figure out if an animal has left the farm premises. So, we can deploy beacon gateways to know the exact location of all the animals at all times. Hence, we will receive a notification whenever an animal leaves the farm. Therefore, we can chase and retrieve that animal.
Large store owners often struggle with where to position their employees. Customers are coming into the store all the time and they often need help with various matters. So, it is necessary that a store employee is always nearby. Hence, if we deploy beacons then we will know which sections of the store are crowded at a particular moment. Therefore, we can position our employees in those sections to help out the customers.
We live in an era where large events are happening all around us. Some prominent examples include large concerts, fundraisers, weddings, celebrations, social speeches, public campaigns, etc. The management of these events is a challenging task. This is because managers often struggle with preventing people from entering certain restricted areas of the premises. We can solve this problem by handing out special visitor cards to the attendees. These cards will have beacons embedded in them. So, we can use beacon gateways to track their movements at all times. So, if they try to enter a restricted area, we can immediately stop them.
In the world of sales analytics, proximity marketing is an emerging phenomenon. It means marketing those products or services to prospective customers that align with their contextual settings. For instance, a person enters a clothing store. He goes to the t-shirt section and stays there for a couple of minutes. Now imagine that he receives a notification on his smartphone that there is a special promotion running on a particular t-shirt. In this case, it is much more likely that he will buy that t-shirt. Such is the power of proximity marketing and we can implement it by using beacon gateways.
Transportation and Logistics
The supply chain is an integral part of any business as it involves moving products around. During logistics, many products are often lost or damaged. So, we can minimize this by tracking their position and motion at all times.
Beacon and iBeacon gateway
We often confuse the terms “beacon gateway” and “iBeacon gateway” with each other. Also, we often use them interchangeably. However, that is not entirely true as the two terms are technically different. The iBeacon gateway was first introduced by the tech giant Apple. It was introduced back in 2013 and was the first gateway of its kind. The iBeacon gateway dominated the market for some years before its competitors arrived in the market. Then came the AltBeacon which was introduced by Radius networks in 2014. It was the major competitor to iBeacon for a year. In 2015, Eddystone was introduced by Google and it remained a favorite for some period. However, in 2017 Tecno World announced its GeoBeacon. So, all of these technologies fall under the beacon gateway. Meaning beacon gateway is an umbrella term while iBeacon, Eddystone, GeoBeacon, and AltBeacon, etc. are subcategories.
Eddystone vs iBeacon
Since its inception, Apple and Google have been competing in every field. The same is the case with the field of beacon technology. Google-backed Eddystone is known for its universal connectivity while Apple-based iBeacon is appreciated as a pioneer. So, any discussion regarding beacon technology without comparing Eddystone and iBeacon is uncomplete. The iBeacon is primarily built for iOS so it is only favorable if your implementation only involves smart devices from apple. On the other hand, Eddystone offers cross-platform compatibility. This means that Eddystone is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. Another major difference is that iBeacon is easier to implement while it lacks functionality. However, Eddystone is complex to implement while it offers a lot in terms of functionality. If you use iBeacon gateway then it can easily process ID numbers. However, if you use Eddystone then you have to deal with URLs as well as ID numbers.