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Indoor navigation with beacons (the most common types are the iBeacon and Eddystone) offer decisive advantages for projects that are dependent on high accuracy and want to include Apple devices. Beacons are typically transmitters in client-based methods. For example, they enable indoor navigation for airline passengers using the app – cross-platform and with an accuracy of up to 1 meter. The server-based beacon tracking of persons or goods is only possible with third-party components.
When you use beacons for indoor navigation, temporary installations, e.g. for exhibitions and in unusual locations are also possible. Mounting the beacons is simple and extremely flexible. The housing is available in different colours so that devices can be installed discreetly. The Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology enables battery operation over two to eight years without having to access an external power supply. Beacons can also be connected to the power supply or use the power supply from the lighting. Paper-thin beacons with a printed battery are ideal for very discreet and space-saving installations, for example, on ISO cards or advertising materials. They have a battery life of three to four days. The Beacon Management tool integrated into systems makes beacon management and monitoring easy. Beacons can also provide sensor data. They may include sensor capabilities to allow the detection of movement (accelerometer), temperature, humidity, air pressure, light, and magnetism. This makes them particularly suitable for applications in the field of home and office automation, healthcare, retail, and industry. Bluetooth beacons are small radio transmitters that send out signals in a radius of 10-30 meters (interior spaces). The advantages of beacons are obvious: They are cost-effective (three to thirty euros), can be installed with minimal effort, determine a position accurately up to 1 meter and are supported by many operating systems and devices. The new BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) standard is also very energy efficient. Beacons can be used for both client-based as well as server-based applications. With beacons, it is possible to detect the current floor.