Manage beacons, buildings, zones and broadcast messages. The web interface shows staff activity and allows staff to be assigned to tasks. Staff can update task status and provide notes from their smartphones.
We have removed listings for solutions that no longer exist, updated solutions that have changed focus and added some newer solutions that use generic beacons.
We found that a considerable number of marketing/retail solutions no longer exist and only the stronger ones remain. This is mainly due to the demise of Eddystone URL.
There’s an upsurge in checkin/checkout solutions presumably partly due to recent ruling by the European Court of Justice that said that EU companies must have something in place to provide an “objective, reliable and accessible system” that allows the duration of time worked each day to be measured.
The use of beacons in visitor spaces is also a growing area with solutions ranging from single use kiosks to event management platforms.
Generally, support for beacons is being added to existing, mature solutions rather than, as previously, new solutions being created solely around beacon functionality.
One of our clients Chime Software Limited, part of Wren Construction, is offering a Time and Attendance Tracking system for the building construction industry. It’s a mobile and desktop solution allowing teams to easily collaborate.
The clock in and clock out uses iBeacons. It’s possible to view and authorise timesheets either from your desktop or mobile phone. It’s also possible to take textual and photographic notes for sharing across a team or project.
As the authors are in China, it uses WeChat to ensure compatibility and to promote uptake. Apart from helping find books, other uses include calculating user traffic, check-in, welcome information, questionnaires and evaluating seat occupancy.
Mr Beacon has an informative new video interview with Janette Smrcka, Information Technology Director at Mall of America. They use beacons to allow visitors to navigate across 520 stores on 5 levels, spanning 4.3 miles and over 5.6 million square feet.
Watch the video to learn about WiFi vs Bluetooth wayfinding and the advantages of mains as opposed to battery powered beacons. You will also learn how Mall of America’s beacon network might eventually be used to track mall assets and for location-based site maintenance.
Nordic, the manufacturer of the System on a Chip (SoC) in most beacons, has a new Summer 2018 edition of their free Wireless Q Magazine (pdf). Read about beacons are helping the homeless in Seattle and being used by Japan’s Nagoya University Hospital to capture the vital signs and whereabouts of patients and the location of medical staff.
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.
Gateways – Gateways 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.
Arduino – Arduino 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.