Beacon FAQs

Beacon is a technology that uses sensors to locate iOS7 or Android devices indoors and can send them notifications via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). This can be used in stores or museums to give further information about the painting or item a person is close to. Bluetooth Low Energry receivers can also be used to track and monitor Beacons when they are fixed to an asset or a person.

Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances (using short-wavelength UHF radio waves in the ISM band from 2.4 to 2.485 GHz from fixed and mobile devices, and building personal area networks. Bluetooth was invented by Ericsson in 1994

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), also marketed as Bluetooth Smart, is a wireless personal area network technology designed and marketed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) aimed at applications within healthcare, fitness, security and home entertainment industries. BLE is intended to provide considerably reduced power consumption and cost while maintaining similar communication ranges. Mobile operating systems including IOS, Andriod, Windows Phone and Blackberry as well as OS X, Linus and Windows 8 natively support Bluetooth Smart. Bluetooth 5.0 was launched June 2016 Bluetooth 5 is expected  to have a more broader and more flexible internet Protocol assess, and the addition of mesh routing capabilities.

Standard Bluetooth 4.2, Frequency 2.4 GHz, Range 50-150m, Data Rates 1Mbps

Cellular . Any IOT application that requires data to be sent over longer distances can take advantage of GSM/3G/4G cellular network communications. This is managed by the major operations, Vodafone, EE, O2 and Three and whilst can be an expensive route to send data, it is ideal for beacon based low data projects that sent small amounts of data over the internet.

Standard GSM/GPRS/EDGE (2G); UMTS/HSPA (3G), LTE (4G); Frequencies 900/1800/1900/2100MHz, Range 35km GSM,  200km HSPA; Data Rates 35-170 (GPRS) 120-384kbps (EDGE) 384kbps-2Mbps (UMTS) 600kbps-10Mbps (HSPA) 3-10Mbps (LTE)

Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system made up of a network of 32 satellites placed into orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense. GPS was originally intended for military applications, but is now available for civilian use. Most mobile phones now have a GPS receiver already built in, this receiver measures the distance from itself to a satellite and can provide an accurate location position of within 7.8 meters. GPS is not suitable for indoor positioning as it doesn’t tend to work inside buildings.

LoRA is similar to Sigfox and NB-IOT and targets wide-are network (WAN) applications designed to provide low-power WANS. Its optimised for low-power consumption and supporting large networks with millions of devices. It supports low cost mobile communication in IOT, M2M and smart city applications

Standard LoRaWAN; Frequency various; Range 2-5km (urban) 15km (rural); Data rates 0.3-50kbps.

Indoor Positioning System (IPS) is a solution based on magnetic, other sensor data or a network of devices used to wirelessly locate objects or people inside a building.

MEMS – Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems,  is a technology that in its most general form can be defined as miniaturized mechanical and electro-mechanical elements (i.e., devices and structures) that are made using the techniques of microfabrication.

Mesh network is a network topology in which each node (called a mesh node) relays data for the network. All nodes cooperate in the distribution of data in the network.

NB-IOT leverages the TV White Space spectrum to deliver high scalable, high coverage, low power and low-cost wireless networks. It will compete with GPRS, 3G, CDMS and LTE Wan solutions and is ideal for transmitting small amounts of data over long distances. Data rates can be anything from a few bits per second up to 100kbps over the same link. Originally developed by Neul, who was then acquired by Huawei in September 2014. Huawei and Vodafone announced a partnership in May 2016 to develop NB-IOT network applications.

Frequency 900Mhz (ISM), 458MHz (UK), 470-790MHZ (White Space); Range 10km; Data Rates few bps up to 100kbps

NFC, stands for Near Field Communication, and is a short range wireless RFID technology that makes use of interacting electromagnetic radio fields. It is for applications where a physical touch, or close to it, is required in order to maintain security. NFC can be found embedded in mobile phones for,  among other things, payment, in conjunction with an electronic wallet.

Standard ISO/IEC 18000-3; Frequency 13.56MHz (ISM); Range 10cm; Data Rates 100-420kbps

RFID. An RFID system consists of a tag, which is made up of a microchip with an antenna, and an interrogator or reader with an antenna. The reader sends out electromagnetic waves. The tag antenna is tuned to receive these waves. A passive RFID tag draws power from field created by the reader and uses it to power the microchip’s circuits. The chip then modulates the waves that the tag sends back to the reader and the reader converts the new waves into digital data.

Sigfox uses a technology called Ultra Narrow Band (UNB) and is only designed to handle low data-transfer speeds of 10 to 1,000 bits per second. It consumes only 50 microwatts compared to 5000 microwatts for cellular communication. In terms of range comes between WiFi and cellular. It uses the ISM bands, which are free to use without the need to acquire licenses, to transmit data over a very narrow spectrum to and from connected objects.

Standard Sigfox; Frequency 900MHz; Range 30-50km (rural) 3-10km (urban); Data Rates 10-1000bps

Uribeacon, is Google’s answer to the iBeacon, it connects low power beacons to the family of Open Web technologies. The UriBeacon Specification is designed with one goal in mind: to create the easiest, most open way to discover and use nearby smart things. Its compliant with Bluetooth 4.0 advertising messages, compatible with iOS and Android low power scanning modes, independent of any particular hardware, user-agent, service or mobile platform, and openly licensed under Apache 2.0 as such free of restrictive and proprietary terms.

Wi-Fi, also spelled Wifi or WIFI, is a local area wireless technology that allows an eletronic device to exchange data or connect to the internet using 2.4 GHz UHF and 5 GHz SHF radio waves

ZigBee is a specification for a suite of high-level communication protocols used to create personal area networks, built from small, low-power digital radios. Though its low power consumption limits transmission distances to 10-100 metres, depending on power output and environmental characteristics, ZigBee devices can transmit data over long distances by passing data through a mesh network of intermediate devices to reach more distant ones.

ZigBee 3.0 based on IEEE802.15.4, Frequency 2.4 GHz, Range 10-100m, Data Rates 250kbps

6LoWPAN originated from the idea that the Internet Protocol could and should be applied even to the smallest devices and that low-power devices with limited processing capabilities should be able to participate in the Internet of Things.

The 6LoWPAN group has defined encapsulation and header compression mechanisms that allow IPv6 packets to be sent and received over IEEE 802.15.4 based networks. IPv6 is the successor to IPv4 which enables any embedded object or device in the world to have its own unique IP address and connect to the internet. Its designed for home or building automation as IPv6 provides a basic transport mechanism to produce complex control systems and to communicate with devices in a cost-effective manner via a low-powered wireless network.

Standard RFC6282, Frequency adapted and used over a variety of other networking media including Bluetooth Smart (2.4GHz) or Zigbee or low-powered RF (sub-1GHz).


Write a Comment