How many beacons do we actually need?

You know Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) technology appeared in far 2001 when researchers at Nokia determined various scenarios contemporary wireless technologies did not address. The company began developing a wireless technology adapted from the Bluetooth standard which would provide lower power usage and cost while minimizing its differences from Bluetooth technology (Nokia's Wibree and the Wireless Zoo).

However, the really serious interest in this technology has been shown when in 2013 Apple has improved the possibilities for using this technology in their devices, calling it iBeacon.

It is already written a lot about Bluetooth LE (or also known as Bluetooth Smart) and what could be done using this technology. One example is this Guide to Beacons, briefly:

  • Customer acquisition and promotion;
  • Loyalty programms;
  • Geolocation and analytics;
  • Payment and advertising metrics;
  • And much much more...

However, speaking about the benefits and opportunities of Bluetooth LE beacons, many people forget that any modern device, that runs iOS 7 or Android 4, could be turned into a virtual iBeacon. Mobile operating systems including iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry as well as Mac OS X, Linux and Windows 8 natively support Bluetooth Smart.

The Bluetooth SIG predicts more than 90% of Bluetooth-enabled smartphones will support Bluetooth Smart by 2018.

What can we do with this huge pile of beacons people already has?

  1. Mesh networks;
  2. Navigation and Geolocation;
  3. Analytics;
  4. And that's not the end of the list.

It's getting obvious that in some cases individual hardware beacons may be replaced by a mesh network of our smartphones and tablets.

Could it be true?
Will it be working properly?
What effect it may have on the trending beacons market?

Answers to these and other questions will be in our recent posts. Subscribe to our blog to be on the edge.