Bluetooth beacon tracking has become one of the most effective ways of marketing. You are here because you have already heard about this technology. Beacons are easy to deploy, cost-effective, and efficient way of marketing.
If you don’t know much about this technology, this guide covers a beacon tracking system from many aspects. So you will have a better understanding of how this technology works. And, what you need to implement a beacon location tracking system. Let’s get started…
What does it take to implement a beacon tracking system?
Every industry is utilizing beacons for their maximum benefits. You can find beacons from airports to the stadium, classrooms to shopping mall centers, etc. If you own a business, you can also use them to get maximum benefits. However, you need to come with an effective strategy.
You might be thinking about what you need to implement a complete beacon tracking system. The beacons setup process is very easy and straightforward. All you need to buy beacon devices from a trustworthy company like MOKOSmart. Follow the steps below to utilize beacon tracking technology:
- First of all, you need Bluetooth beacon devices.
- Besides, you need a cloud-based server.
- An API that controls the communication between beacon devices and the server.
- Permission from the user’s smartphone for sending notifications.
You only buy beacon devices. The rest of the things come with the beacons. You need to install beacons in the appropriate places. Then, you need to configure these tracking devices according to the provided instructions. When you purchase these devices, the company gives you detailed guidance about the setup of beacons. You will learn how does beacon works in the upcoming sections.
Use cases for Bluetooth beacon tracking technology
There are a lot of scenarios in which you can use a beacon. Let’s have a look at the 10 different use cases of this technology:
- Theft Protection
You can attach these devices to different valuable products. So you can trigger an alarm when beacon leaves a specific area. Or, you can send a push notification to the security guards.
A company can equip their employees and visitors with a beacon in a huge structure. So it will become very easy to evacuate them in the case of any emergency. Because you can find their exact position and their total strength.
- Inventory Management
You can attach a small beacon sticker on each object in the store. So you can display the position and characteristics of that object on a website. For example, you can display the value and purchasing date.
- Indoor Navigation
Beacons are the best solution for indoor navigation at railway stations and airports. Passengers can find essential spots such as a cash machine and the ticket counters. All you need to install an app on your Android or iOS device.
- Digital Services
These services enhance the customer experience of many companies. Because beacons devices are very helpful to optimize processes.
- Information Display using Tracking Solution
By utilizing the E-Ink display along with tracking solutions, you can check the workflow in hospitals. For example, you can check the beds’ condition and staff work at the hospital.
- LED identification of goods
It is another remarkable use case of this technology. For example, a pick to a light solution makes picking procedures more effective and easy.
- Advertisement in Retail Industries
A lot of things are happening in the world of this technology all around the globe. You can use it in departmental stores for better user experience. When a user spends a bit of time on some location at the store, you can send a push notification with interactive offers.
- Bars and restaurants
You can use this technology to automate your bars and restaurants. How? You might have listened about the Martini alcohol brand. The brand utilizes a Smart Cube for better user experience. This cube is very effective in crowd management.
For example, when the glass becomes empty, the bartender receives a push notification having location information of the visitor. So the bartender refills their glass within a minute before leaving their seats.
- Cooking Recommendation
It is another important use case of this technology. You can give useful suggestions or recommendations for recipes when they enter the shop. Further, you can as for their feedback via the feedback form.
Pros and Cons of beacons tracking technology
There are a lot of benefits to this technology. You can boost your sales and improve customer experience using these devices. Contrary to this, there are a few disadvantages to this technology. Let’s first talk about the pros of this technology:
Almost all companies can improve the user experience of their customers at both front and back end. Further, they can streamline operations, drive sales, and collect some useful data. Among all, retailers and marketing industries are getting maximum benefits by using these devices. How businesses and marketing are taking advantage of this technology? Let’s discuss both one by one:
Pros of Beacon Tracking
Usage of Beacon in a business
If you have a retail store, you can use this technology to notify shoppers. In the notification, you can provide information whatever you want. For example, you can deliver personalized promotions. Besides, you can give shoppers useful suggestions depends on their locations.
Similarly, you can set up a complete beacon-based positioning system. It speeds up your navigation in the bigger areas. In addition to this, you can also achieve beacon asset tracking. It also helps you to improve security.
Beacons boost marketing
Nowadays, almost all giant companies rely on buzzword technology to enhance the customer experience. Beacons are the easiest but have a good impact on marketing.
RedBull is one of the finest examples. They used beacon stickers to track the movement of the audience during different music events. First of all, they collected many types of data. Then, by utilizing different algorithms, they understand the energy levels and movement of their audience.
Afterward, they visualize the analyzed results on the separate room’s wall. RedBull allows the audience to take their information as an embroidered on a scarf. So here you can see, you can utilize this technology without using a mobile app.
Other benefits of beacons
Here are some other benefits of beacons:
- Easy to Adopt: Beacons are very easy to deploy. For example, you can install a USB beacon like a computer keyboard.
- Reliability and scalability: These are dependable devices as compared to GPS. It means underground areas and walls can’t block the signals.
- Enhance customer experience: Companies can send ads and notification to their potential customers.
- Easy implementation: Many beacons come with SDK and some other management tools. Besides, the implementation of devices is very easy.
- Low cost: Being a cost-effective technology is the most remarkable benefit.
Cons of Beacons tracking
Here are some most remarkable cons of this technology:
- Mobile App requirement: In the majority of the cases, users must have a mobile app for working with these devices. So you will have to install a third-party app to enjoy its features.
- Receivers may opt-out: Today, users use a lot of applications. Each application generates endless content. If you use just a few apps daily, you will receive a lot of notifications. So many people can turn off Bluetooth. It means they prefer not to enjoy the beacon-based experience.
- Solution creation is not easy: In many cases, it is very easy to deploy these devices. For example, the installation of these devices is simple in the marketing and retail industries. Besides, it is not that difficult to deploy them in the smart rooms. In other cases, you need to hire an adept software engineer who is proficient in geofencing solution.
Parameterization and interference of tracking beacon
All beacons come with different indicators. You can use those indicators for allocation and parameterization. For iBeacon tracking, the indicators include UUID, Minor and major. Besides, TX Power and transmission interval are other popular indicators.
There are different types of beacons. Each beacon contains different types of frame types. For example, there is a huge difference between Eddystone and iBeacon while comparing frame types.
Eddystone UUID is a 16-digit ID that gives a unique identity to each beacon. Similarly, Eddystone TLM shows the current status of the beacon. Bluetooth beacon tracking devices don’t interfere in other radio networks. Besides, they don’t affect different medical devices.
You shouldn’t deploy a beacon in a place having plenty of Wi-Fi signals. In this case, interference can happen. It is because Wi-Fi and BLE work on the same frequency range i.e. 2.4 GHz.
You can still overcome this problem by avoiding 2, 3, 4, 13, and 14 channels. So when you configure Wi-Fi, try to use 1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 channels.
There are different channels in beacons for effective working. For example, beacons use an advertising channel for positioning and mark that red in the graphic. Similarly, blue-colored channels perform some additional functions like a temperature sensor.
There are mitigations in the signal strength while using a beacon device. Below are some important factors you should consider when installing and parameterization these devices:
- Low Attenuation Properties: Glass, wood, and some other synthetic materials
- Medium Attenuation Properties: Marble and Bricks
- High Attenuation Properties: Coated glass surface, plaster, and concrete
- Extremely High Attenuation Properties: Water and metal.
How does the BLE Beacon tracking device work?
The working mechanism of BLE beacon devices is very straightforward. When a user enters an area that contains working beacon devices. Then, the nearest beacon to the user will send a code to the mobile device with specific information.
The user receives that message as a form of pup up notification on the smartphone with a third-party app. The beacon-celling company provides you that mobile app for receiving notifications.
Working Steps of Beacon tracking system
Now, let’s understand the working of the beacon with an example:
Let’s assume, a coffee shop owner has deployed a beacon at the entrance.
- The beacon continuously transmits signals in the specified range. The transmission range can vary from 20 to 300m.
- When a person with the app-containing smartphone comes near the devices, they can detect the smartphones.
- The smartphones send a signal to the cloud server with an ID number.
- Then, the server responds with different types of information via notification. Notification can contain feedback form or anything else.
- By clicking on the notification, the app navigates the user to the appropriate information.
Measuring Micro Location using BLE or iBeacon tracking
Beacon devices send the following data to the target device and cloud:
- beacon.uuid: It is a proximity UUID.
- beacon.major: This number helps in identifying the major things like store
- beacon.minor: You can identify different things using this number within the same store.
- beacon.prox: The value of this parameter ranges from 0 to 3. It helps to find out the approximated distance between a beacon and a user.
- 0 to 3 values indicate
- 0 is for an unknown distance
- 1 indicates the immediate distance
- 2 is for near
- 3 shows the far away distance
The working process is simple and straightforward. You can control beacon devices via the control panel. So you should be familiar with the overall working process of these devices. However, you need to purchase and install beacon devices wisely.
If you don’t purchase high-quality beacons, you may have a bad user experience. Similarly, without placing them in the right place, you can’t get the maximum benefits of marketing.