BeaconGrid Blog

What is the best asset tracking technology?

Jul 12, 2017 10:57:07 AM By Lucy M Topics: asset tracking


So in our last article, I was able to talk a little bit about asset tracking. To recap: assets are any physical things--whether it’s personnel or high value objects, like portable printers, wheelchairs, or ECG machines--that need to be managed and effectively utilized on a large campus. Asset tracking is the means by which a manager, and potentially other staff members, can keep track of where any given asset is at a given time. That is, basically, if a campus has any kind of RTLS[real time location system] setup, the manager can look at a digital map of that campus and see the asset as an icon on that map. Also, if a manager prefers to go hands free and has an Amazon Echo, he or she can use Alexa to hear a verbal location of a given asset. Potentially, at least. All of this information can save time, increase efficiency, and prevent loss or damage to equipment. Which, you know, seems important if your equipment costs thousands of dollars already, yeah?  

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Top 7 Differences Between BeaconOutlets vs. Others

Jun 30, 2017 11:48:00 AM By newsletter Topics: beaconoutlet

"How are BeaconOutlets different from, for example, Estimote or Kontakt.io beacons?" "What is the result of BeaconOutlets vs. Others?" All will be revealed. We're glad you're here.

At BeaconGrid, we're asked that question at least once a week(June 2017 edit, a lot more than once a week), so we put together a few thoughts.

Tl;dr: over 95% of beacon companies manufacture battery-powered beacons. We do not. There are some major benefits to this. Pricing is a one of them.

 

Our patented beacons (BeaconOutlets) are AC-powered, resulting in some significant advantages.


 

(1) Remote Management

BeaconOutlets integrate WiFi for zero-touch management and configuration. They're able to automatically update their settings direcly from a cloud. You can manage those settings from anywhere in the world. BeaconOutlets are also monitored 24x7. And you may elect to receive an email or text if a beacon goes offline.

Battery-powered beacons lack WiFi; they cannot communicate directly to a cloud. To manage beacon settings, you must use a smartphone that is physically next to each beacon. The smartphone then becomes the carrier to send information between the cloud and the beacon. In other words, no smartphone next to beacon = no communication with beacon.  This becomes a nightmare for larger (>20) beacon deployments.

(2) Security

BeaconOutlets broadcast BLE signals in nonconnectable mode only. This prevents other Bluetooth devices from maliciously connecting to your beacon.

Battery-powered beacons, however, almost always broadcast in a connectable mode. This opens up the possibility for unauthorized devices to connect to your beacon with malicious intent.

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4 Reasons Bluetooth Beacons are Better than WiFi for Asset Tracking

Jun 22, 2017 11:05:00 AM By Lucy M Topics: RTLS · asset tracking

Running a huge campus would stress me out. It seems like one of those jobs where, when you’re doing it well, nobody notices. But, when there’s a problem, whether it’s delays in serving patients or clients, security problems, or a more urgent emergency, everyone wants the campus manager to fix it and they want it fixed now.

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5 Quick Facts about Beacon Asset Tracking RTLS

Jun 15, 2017 2:33:07 PM By Connie Topics: RTLS

 Source: Wikimedia

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Eddystone And The Physical Web: What You Need To Know

Jun 7, 2017 10:00:00 AM By Connie Topics: Eddystone · Physical web

Source: Pixabay

 

There has been a lot of hype around Eddystone and the Physical Web lately, but what exactly are they?

 

Imagine a world in which you can just “walk up and use anything.” This is the vision for Google’s Physical Web, a project to create a world in which all physical objects can be connected to the digital world and have the ability to communicate with you or with each other. Unveiled in 2014, the Physical Web is still in its infancy, but its open source standard has allowed developers worldwide to participate in this initiative and grow it.

 

Google has decided to use Eddystone as the backbone of the Physical Web. Eddystone is Google’s protocol for the bluetooth low energy (BLE) beacon, announced in 2015. Bluetooth has become popular among mobile devices, with over 90% of mobile devices capable of receiving Bluetooth in 2014, making it a key factor for Google in trying to reach as many people as possible.

 

Eddystone itself has a variety of capabilities and protocols. Here; we’ll be specific about the Eddystone-URL, which is the specific type of Eddystone used by the Physical Web.

 

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How Do iBeacons Work? All You Need To Know

May 23, 2017 11:00:00 AM By Connie Topics: ibeacon



In 2012, if you had heard the word “beacon,” you might have thought of a lighthouse by the sea or the metaphor “a beacon of hope.”

The other beacon, the one we’re interested in, is the Bluetooth low energy (BLE) beacon that has recently become trendy. BLE beacons were popularized by Apple in 2013 when the company unveiled its ibeacon protocol specifying how to use the ibeacon. From there, companies like BeaconGrid have created their own ibeacons that have been proliferated across a variety of industries for versatile uses.

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Beacons and Privacy : Clearing the Air on a Hot-Button Topic

May 18, 2017 11:20:00 AM By newsletter Topics: Beacons

This is not “Minority Report.” Tom Cruise isn't going to come barrelling down the street at high speeds after you. We are not descending into a depressing, distopian future. The topic, Beacons and privacy, is another iteration of the apprehension and confusion following a new shiny piece of technology. It's not as interesting as "Minority Report," but the discussion sure helps to clear the air.

Beacons usher in new opportunities for technological advancement and engagement. Such innovation, however, is accompanied by understandable misunderstandings of the somewhat vague concerns of degraded personal privacy as a result of beacon technology.

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In-Depth Eddystone: The 5 Key Facts About Eddystone Beacons

May 16, 2017 9:30:00 AM By Connie Topics: Eddystone

 

Released by Google in July 2015, the Eddystone Beacon protocol  is a relatively new protocol, but it is already being experimented with and adapted in many industries.

 

Like the iBeacon released by Apple in 2013, Eddystone beacons operate on the basic premise of broadcasting Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals from a piece of hardware to communicate simple data to other devices. (For beacon basics, see our article here.)

 

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Is a BeaconOutlet an Apple iBeacon?

May 10, 2017 2:00:00 PM By newsletter Topics: beaconoutlet · Eddystone · ibeacon · Physical web

First glance reveals BeaconOutlets look and function like traditional electric outlets, but they are so much more. Their unique quality lies in their ability to broadcast Apple iBeacon and Google Eddystone signals via an integrated Bluetooth Smart system. The skinny of it is: our outlets enable software solutions based around presence detection.

Among numerous other functionalities, BeaconOutlets send unique IDs or URLs into space. These are sometimes called UUIDs (iBeacon) or Physical Web URLs (i.e., Eddystone).  Apps on smartphones receive the ID or URL and can perform various tasks to improve everyday life.

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What Is Indoor Proximity? 3 Key Things to Know About Bluetooth Beacons

May 4, 2017 11:00:00 AM By newsletter Topics: beaconoutlet · Indoor Proximity

beacons enable high level solutions based around proximity detection. Imagine your door unlocking for you!

what is indoor proximity? For some it's a bit of a vague catch all for rapidly advancing bluetooth technology.  We've condensed three important facets of proximity detection for quick reading:

  • Hardware (beacons)
  • Middleware (API's, ERP Apps, etc.)
  • Application layers (end product)

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