The x axis is time. You can see the x, y and z values, every 100ms, over time. The y axis is normalised between -1 and -1 for use in our SensorCognition Edge device. The chart is for when the beacon has been moving, followed by a stationary period. Notice how the orange line continues to show acceleration even though the beacon isn’t moving. This is caused by gravity.
In this chart the beacon has been flipped over and the orange line now shows a constant negative acceleration.
A good thing about the presence of a constant offset in one of the x y z inputs is that it can be used to help determine the orientation of the beacon. The less desirable aspect is that the offset significantly complicates using the x y z to determine types of movement such as human gestures.
Such complex data problems are more easily solved using AI machine learning than trying to write a traditional algorithm to make sense of the data.
Here’s an example of output from a SensorCognition Edge device trained with up and down movement and left and right movement. In this case, the output 227 is showing the beacon is moving left and right.
This beacon transmits up to 6 channels including iBeacon, Eddystone (TLM, UID, URL), temperature/humidity and information (device name, MAC address, battery level ).
The sensor is held outside the beacon in a small cage that allows the beacon to be waterproof to IP66. A unique feature is logging that allows storing and export of up to 4000 historical sensor values:
Most of our sensor beacons with accelerometers offer motion triggered broadcast. That is, they can be set up to advertise when the beacon is moving. This can be used for motion detection or, in some scenarios, as a mechanism to significantly conserve battery life.
Some beacons such as the iB001M, iB002M and Minew range with buttons can be set to only advertise when there’s a double press of the button. This can be used for SOS type scenarios.
The S1 temperature humidity beacons can also be set to advertise when the temperature or humidity goes above or below a value. This is useful for alarm type situations.
While triggered broadcast provides for these usecases and extends battery life, it should be remembered that because the beacons are not advertising all the time, there’s no way of knowing their location (in RTLS situations) or indeed if the beacon is working (e.g. the battery might be flat). Beacons such as the INGICS range advertise all the time and send different advertising when a button is pressed or the temperature/humidity changes. This allows for ‘I am still here’ functionality at the expense of shorter battery life.
One of our customers, Activ84Health in Belgium, has an interesting product that we have been working on, Memoride, that encourages the use of cycling fitness machines through the use of a moving map and visual route.
The system uses beacons to detect movement of the cycling machine.
The technology is featured in the Care England Best Practice Report:
The S1 beacon is a temperature/humidity beacon that we supply in 3 variants. It’s not immediately obvious how the batteries should be replaced. The manufacturer, Minew, has a video showing how to access the screws to open the case:
Sensor beacons provide a quick and easy way to obtain data for AI machine learning. They provide an alternative to trying to access over-protected siloed company data and a method of measuring physical things that might not already be quantified.
Beacons detect movement (accelerometer), movement (started/stopped moving), button press, temperature, humidity, air pressure, light level, open/closed (magnetic hall effect), proximity (PIR), proximity (cm range), fall detection, smoke and natural gas. The open/closed (magnetic hall effect) is particularly useful as it can be used on a multitude of physical things for scenarios that require digitising counts, presence and physical status.
The data is sent via Bluetooth rather than via cables which means there’s no soldering or physical construction. The Bluetooth data can be read by smartphones, gateways or any devices that have Bluetooth LE. From there it can be stored in files for reading into machine learning.
Most, except the sensor beacons, are waterproof to IP67. All the beacons can be configured to advertise multiple channels at the same time including iBeacon, Eddystone UID, Eddystone URL, Eddystone TLM, sensor (where available), acceleration (where available) and device info.
Sato beacons use the button in an innovative way. Instead of going OFF, the button long press is detected for SOS type scenarios. The beacon is instead turned off using the configuration app or programatically via your custom app.