Beacons for Lone Workers and Workers Under Duress

A critical use for beacons is protecting lone workers or those that might experience duress. Lone worker solutions traditionally used RFID that required workers to manually check-in to locations. If workers forgot or were in trouble you only knew their last location. Newer systems such as Motorola TRBONet used with 2-way radios and BeaconRTLS™ used with generic beacons allow continual tracking of location.

Another usecase related to lone working is warning workers when they are about to enter a hazardous area. An example of this is Lone Worker Solutions’ Safe Beacon feature that creates a virtual perimeter. If a control room needs to know someone has entered (or left) a zone, real time locating systems (RTLS) like BeaconRTLS™ can be used to set up zones with alerts.

It’s also possible to have workers press a button on a beacon as a form of SOS when they are under duress. An example of this is HID Global’s new Badge Beacon that addresses the growing need to protect doctors, nurses and other caregivers from threatening situations that arise in the hospital environment. This can also been done in a generic way by using a RTLS and detecting a beacon button press. Simpler solutions are also possible by having a simple app on the worker’s phone detect the beacon button press and send an alert.

Read about BeaconRTLS™

Consider a Feasibility Study

Using iBeacons for Motorola TRBONet

Motorola MOTOTRBO range two-way Radios can be used with the Motorola-supplied TRBOnet PLUS (pdf) control room software to show the location of workers with digital radios on maps and plans. The radios contain both GPS and iBeacon detection to allow locating indoors.

There are three places where iBeacons need to be set up in TRBOnet:

In the GPS profile:

Placing beacon on the map:

Read the full User Guide
View compatible beacons

Devices That Can See Beacons

When people think about beacons they often imagine them being detected in smartphone apps. This post explores other devices that can also see beacons allowing for different interaction possibilities and new scenarios.

Apps – Apps aren’t limited to just smartphone apps. You can run apps on TV boxes that run Android. Just make sure they have Bluetooth 4.3 or later.

GatewaysGateways are small single pupose devices that look for beacons and send the information on via MQTT or REST (HTTP) to any server. This allows web servers to see beacons.

Desktops and Laptops – PC/Mac devices with built-in Bluetooth or dongles can see beacons.

Walky Talkies – Motorola manufacture the MOTOTRBO range of digital radios that can detect iBeacons and show their location on a map.

Raspberry Pi – This has Bluetooth and can be used to detect beacons.

AndroidThings – This special IOT version of Android can run apps that detect beacons and store and/or forward information to other devices.

ArduinoArduino boards often have Bluetooth and can do things based on the presence of beacons.

Other Beacons – Some specialist beacons such as the Puck.js can communicate with other beacons.

Pixl.js – The manufacturer of the Puck.js also supplies a device with a screen that can detect and interact with beacons.

Single Board Computers (SBC) have an advantage over gateways in that data can be cached locally when there isn’t an Internet connection. They can also make decisions locally and send out alerts directly rather than having to rely on a server. This is so called ‘IoT Edge’ computing.

Motorola Radios and iBeacons

Motorola manufacture the MOTOTRBO range of digital radios that can detect iBeacons.

Used together with the TRBOnet PLUS (pdf) control room software, the location of people with digital radios can be plotted onto maps:

Supported handsets currently include:

  • MOTOTRBO DP4000e Series
  • MOTOTRBO SL4000e Series
  • MOTOTRBO DP3441e
  • MOTOTRBO DP3661e

Motorola handsets work with any iBeacons. We recently supplied beacons to a power station for lone worker monitoring using TRBOnet PLUS. Buy from our wide range of iBeacons.

Not got radios, but need a locating system? Take a look at BeaconRTLS.