Using Beacons for Intelligent In-Room Presence Detection

Most Beacon usecases involve putting beacons on things or in places and triggering notifications on users’ phones. There’s a paper by Yang Yang, Zhouchi Li and Kaveh Pahlavan of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), Worcester, MA that instead proposes Using iBeacon for Intelligent In-Room Presence Detection.

Their system records users in a room for applications such as graduate seminar check-in, security and in and out counting. It recognises in room presence by analysing path loss and door motion readings to decide whether a person is inside the room. Their custom app receives the beacon data and sends it to a server for analysis. They experimented using two iBeacons, one attached to the outside of the door with another mirroring at the inside and also as single iBeacon implementation that still performed well.


The paper also a useful chart showing the variation of RSSI with how a phone is held: