Beacon Proximity and Sensing for the Internet of Things (IoT)
Beacons can be used for proximity detection and sensing to enable organisations to manage assets and realise significant cost savings in operations through remote monitoring, preventative maintenance, alerts and 'big data' analytics. Beacons provide a simpler, scalable and lower cost IoT solution compared to legacy industrial sensing. They are part of what's being called 'Industry 4.0' and 'The 4th Industrial Revolution', the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies and smart factories.
Beacons become part of the IoT by connecting via a smartphone, single board computer, a PC scanning for beacons, gateway or Edge Gateway. Most implementations use gateways because they provide the simplest and most cost effective solution.
Sensor beacons can send data such as light level, motion (acceleration or magnetic hall effect), temperature and humidity. Once at the server, they are displayed in dashboards, used as the basis for alerts and forwarded on to other systems via protocols such as Kafka, RabbitMQ, REST and RPC. Historical data can be also downloaded via HTTP for input into other systems.
Example of beacon temperature and humidity data sent via an iGS01 gateway
Proximity data can be just as important as sensor data. It's often useful to know a beacon attached to something or someone is in or has just entered a zone. Read the article on Using Beacons for Real-time Locating Systems (RTLS) for more information.
Beacon sensor and proximity solutions tend to use Internet of Things (IoT) or Business Intelligence (BI) platforms rather than beacon Software as a Service (SAAS) solutions as the latter tend to be aligned towards end-user centric retail marketing. IoT solutions can also be used as the source of data for machine learning.
Heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) Dashboard