Hide Your Beacons!

There’s a useful new article by Martin Bryant on Lessons learned from an experiment to transform Manchester’s local news. One of the insights was:

“A few beacons went missing in the first week”

People will steal beacons even if they are password protected and can’t be re-used. They don’t know they are useless and steal them anyway.

We once had a strange request from the UK Police to supply our “ugliest beacons”. In some situations, the requirement is for beacons that will blend into the environment rather than advertise their presence visually. While high visibility, attractive beacons might be great for proof of concepts and demos, in the real world beacons that blend into their environment work best.

There’s often a temptation to hide beacons behind things. However, beware of blocking the radio signal and hence reducing the range. We had a client use beacons in a stadium and they painted them to camouflage them from view. Hide your beacons, but don’t block the signal.