An Overview of Bluetooth Beacon

2021-08-27/ By Admin

Your Comprehensive Guide on Bluetooth Beacon

For a lot of us, our first encounter with Bluetooth technology might have been in the form of a wireless headset or hands-free device. However, there is a lot more to the Bluetooth technology than we anticipate. A new breed of Bluetooth which is known as Bluetooth beacon is emerging. It does not only consume less power but is quite lower in cost as well. Want to know more about it and what it is capable of doing? Stay tuned then!

Bluetooth beacon

Two Types of Bluetooth Radios

The majority of people think that the name Bluetooth covers all the forms of Bluetooth connectivity and it also needs some kind of manual activation through your phone. However, this is not the case. In reality, there are actually two primary types of Bluetooth radios out there. They are known as Bluetooth Classic and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). However, despite having an almost similar name, these types of Bluetooth technologies are not compatible with each other. That’s because both of them are two different protocols.

Let’s check out these two types in detail below.

1.      Bluetooth Classic

Bluetooth Classic is mainly used for streaming data that has high loads. The most common example of this type is the music from a phone to a speaker that has Bluetooth in it. However, you need to make sure that the Bluetooth is enabled in both the phone and the speaker before you can use Bluetooth Classic on them. As a result, the Bluetooth Classic consumes high levels of power and transmits more data as well.

2.      Bluetooth Low Energy

In comparison to Bluetooth Classic, Bluetooth Low Energy transmits data at regular intervals. Not only this, but it consumes less power as well. As a result, it can last for up to months on only one single battery. Sometimes, it can even last for years. This is one of the reasons that it is called low-energy Bluetooth.

What Is A Bluetooth Beacon?

Let’s now talk about Bluetooth beacons! What it is? What does it do? How does it work?

So, for those of you who do not know, the Bluetooth beacon is a wireless and small battery-powered radio transmitter. It uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) as its transmission protocol. All the BLE scanners can easily discover and see this mini-radio transmission device. However, you need to ensure that it is present in a certain radius. Otherwise, BLE will not be able to discover it. However, the Bluetooth beacon cannot see or detect anyone back.

This technology does not require an internet connection for it to work. So, it will not be wrong to say that it works as a broadcaster within the range of a short radius. The receiving device such as the smartphone that has BLE enabled plays the role of the intermediary device. It uses all the information from the beacon and then processes it further.

The transmission distance lounges around 10–30 meters for inside spaces and the equipment is profoundly financially savvy and low support. This is because each Bluetooth signal comprises just a little microchip, a radio, and a battery.

Bluetooth guides empower the association between the physical and computerized world by making a correspondence connect between empowered gadgets and the individual conveying them.

In doing as such, Bluetooth guides permit organizations to computerize certain cycles and upgrade experience-based activities and collaborations. Bluetooth guides are important for the Internet of Things (IoT), which is the association between various gadgets and machines to gather and move information without human-to-human or human-to-PC connections.

A Short History of Bluetooth and Bluetooth Beacon

The original creation of Bluetooth technology dates back to the year 1989. It was created by Dr. Nils Rydebeck and Dr. Johan Ullman. Ever since its invention, Bluetooth technology has gone through many revolutions. This helped the creators include more features to increase the speed and bandwidth of the technology.

For example, the 2.0 and 3.0 version of the Bluetooth requires a two-way connection for them to work efficiently. This means that the devices need to actively connect to one another during the process of pairing.

In the year 2010, Bluetooth 4.0 was released which used low energy technology. Thus, it will not be wrong to say that Bluetooth 4.0 is the first-ever Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). This technology allowed one-way communication to the users. It means that you can now configure the devices to transmit the data only. However, the devices will not need to listen in the return. This greatly helped in reducing power consumption in the process of transmitting data.

In the year 2013, Apple introduced iBeacon as a part of its iOS 7. It is a standard protocol that allows different mobile apps to identify signals from different beacons in the physical world so that they can respond accordingly to the requirements.

This led to the growth and development of Bluetooth beacon technology. By the year 2014, more than 50 out of the top 100 American retailers started testing this technology in their shops for advertising and behavioral data gathering.

iBeacon vs. Google’s Browser-Based Beacon Scanner

Around the time the iBeacon was launched, Google launched its physical web as well. This physical web was a Chrome browser-based beacon scanner. The main idea behind Google’s browser-based beacon scanner was that, unlike iBeacon that needs an app to operate, Google’s physical web will allow the users to see web pages with their associated pages.

However, you must know that Google discontinued the Physical Web after the year 2018. That’s because Google announced the Eddystone-Eid standard in the year 2016 which is quite similar to Apple’s iBeacon protocol. But it has an additional extension as well that lets the devices connect with the help of Wi-Fi.

How Does the Bluetooth Beacon Work?

The working of the Bluetooth beacon framework is quite straightforward. It works by transmitting packets of data. A compatible receiving device picks up this data with the help of the radio waves. An important thing to remember here is that these packets of data sometimes trigger events or are either self-contained on the receiving device. Some examples include app actions, prompts, and push notifications.

The Bluetooth Low Energy technology also uses the same spectrum of the range such as Bluetooth Classic. However, this range is based on a different set of channels. BLE uses 3 primary advertising channels. This is what makes it faster for devices to connect and reduce scanning time on the listening device.

Sometimes, BLE uses frequency hopping through direct-sequence spread-spectrum or digital modulation techniques as well. This helps the Bluetooth beacon in counteracting.

A Bluetooth reference point has a hypothetical most extreme span distance of under 100m. It can likewise have up to 6ms idleness from a non-associated state. The real reach and reaction time relies upon the actual guide and the customization measures that you set for it.

You can generally utilize BLE in short-range applications (utilizing the standard 1M PHY). Most Bluetooth reference points can dependably send up to around 30 meters with no actual deterrents. An average working reach is around 2 to 5 meters, contingent upon the sending power. The higher the reach, the higher the battery utilization.

However, in the case of a smartphone, you can enable the acceptance of the Bluetooth beacon broadcasting signal with the help of an app that allows the occurrence of the automated connection.

Advantages of Bluetooth Beacon Technology

The reason behind the popularity of the Bluetooth beacon technology among users is that it offers several different advantages to them. Want to know some of those advantages? Keep reading then.

1.      Allows Brands to Personalize Their Marketing

One of the major advantages of the Bluetooth beacons is that they allow different brands to personalize their marketing. This helps them in segmenting their customers as well. Brands can now customize their suggestions and tailor their deals according to the preference of each of their customers. As a result, they can increase their customer engagement too. How it does this is by assisting advertisers with acquiring bits of knowledge on the client, for example, the normal period available and the item areas regularly visited by every client. With that information, advertisers can tailor their publicizing to that client and make exact suggestions to improve the probability of transformations and buys.

2.      Increases the Open Rate for the Companies

Another advantage of the Bluetooth beacon technology is that it increases the open rate for the majority of the companies with the help of geo-targeted messages. According to recent research, people use standard notifications for about 14% of their time. On the other hand, the open messages that a beacon transmits are 50% more. The reason behind it is that these messages appear more relevant as compared to other traditional messages.

3.      Helps in Stimulating In-Location Sales

Beacon marketing can build the utilization of a business' versatile application just as animate in-area deals. Guide set off warnings dependent on closeness permit applications to be really captivating shopping devices and drives traffic with advancement to the closest actual area if, for instance, you are in the shopping center and signal innovation guides you to a particular store.

4.      Builds Trust with Loyalty Programs

A lot of people use their smartphones in stores to find out additional information related to a product. So, you can take advantage of this customer behavior and use beacons for push promotions. This can act as a significant part of your loyalty program. When your customers will feel that they belong to a community, it will develop their trust towards your brand. As a result, they will be more inclined towards you than they are to the other brands. In addition to this, the loyalty programs are also an excellent incentive for the customers to download your store’s app and use it in store to get discounts, participate in a contest, and learn about matching products.

Bluetooth beacon

Disadvantages of Bluetooth Beacon

Just like every coin has two sides, there are some disadvantages of the Bluetooth beacon technology as well. Let’s take a look at some of those disadvantages below.

1.      Tracking Movements is a Bit Complicated

A beacon can possibly follow the development of clients when they have their cell phone with them and turned on, have the application introduced and with consents previously empowered, and have their Bluetooth and Wi-Fi choices empowered. Consequently, signal-based nearness promoting isn't however instinctive as it seemed not out of the ordinary, and it is hard to assemble data on client development and send messages that depend on it.

2.      Beacon does not Work on Its Own

Although beacons have pre-installed notifications in the operating system of the majority of smartphones, you still need to have an application on your phone to catch signals that the Bluetooth beacon emits. As a result, it becomes an extremely complicated interaction from the customer’s point of view rather than simply consenting to messages with the help of a Wi-Fi spot. Also, since beacons are not self-reliant, it will be a hassle to manage them at times.

3.      Beacon does not Offer a Lot of Analyzable Data

At the point when you lead an advertising effort, you need to assemble and investigate every one of the information identified with it, to further develop it as you go, or draft better missions later on. Without a reasonable method of offering analyzable information, reference point-based nearness advertising isn't at all accommodating with regards to furnishing advertisers with information and data whereupon to work on themselves.

Final Words

We hope the above guide helped you understand that there are two different types of Bluetooth technology out there. These two types are the Bluetooth Classic and Bluetooth Low Energy. Bluetooth beacon is a variant of BLE. The technology has both its pros and cons. But, the pros outweigh the cons and for this reason, its popularity is increasing day by day! Need more information? Contact us now!