Beacon is an application with great potential in the BLE market. Beacon adopts a small signal collection method and uses the characteristics of low-power Bluetooth to build a small information network.
The most typical application of Beacon is to use Bluetooth broadcast information to do an information push service.
For example, when you go shopping in a mall or a supermarket, if there is a Beacon device at the entrance of the mall, including discount information or promotion information of the product, open the mobile phone to start the corresponding Beacon application, and you can receive the corresponding information as soon as you enter the store, which can improve consumers Shopping fun, and reduce the physical burden of shopping.
Go on a museum tour and get up close to each exhibit. If there is a Beacon device next to each exhibit, your phone will receive an introduction to such a product right away. While viewing the exhibition, you can also enrich your knowledge.
Beacon can also be used in the public domain. For example, doing statistics on the flow of people at the railway station, including the information that can be pushed to some trains.
At present, these applications have been piloted in the Japanese market, and some large shopping malls in China are also doing this application. Broadcast communication mainly uses the function of broadcasting information of Bluetooth low energy consumption, because Bluetooth will send out broadcasting signals when it is started, which is convenient for other devices to connect. And this broadcast signal can contain some useful information.
GPS can't pick up information indoors, but it's relatively easy if you use a Beacon. This uses the strength signal of the Bluetooth RSSI, also known as the wireless signal strength indicator. RSSI is very strong when the devices are close together. When the distance is farther, the strength of RSSI will become weaker. Through the change of strength, people can also calculate the approximate distance in the opposite direction.
For example, if there is such a collection device in a hospital, people can get information about nurses and equipment through the collection device. You can control some of the management at work. The same information can also be used to make statistics on the flow of people in shopping malls, including supermarkets. Where customers stay for a long time, they can know which products are popular and can make corresponding product adjustments.
Usually a low-power Bluetooth module plus a battery can simply form a Beacon base station. Due to the continuous broadcast information transmission state, the Bluetooth module is required to have very high and reliable wireless performance. In addition, because it is battery powered, the requirements for energy consumption are also very high.
It can be seen that the Beacon BLE module requires three elements:
1、The average current of the module is very low
2、With stable RSSI signal
3、It can provide long communication distance
To this end, the Bluetooth module developed by SKYLAB is characterized by some optimization of the working current of the module itself. The normal sending and receiving current is about 1.2mA. Besides, because bluetooth is not always working. It is in the transmitting state when there is information, and it will enter the dormant state when there is no information. Therefore, the general consideration of the current is to calculate its average current, taking into account both the sleep current and the working current.
In addition, the stability of RSSI is mainly reflected in the indoor positioning of Beacon. Beacon needs to collect RSSI signal when doing positioning. If the signal is not stable, it may have a great effect on the sampling distance.
The distance of Bluetooth itself is not very long, generally within 100 meters. In actual use of Bluetooth, factors such as external interference should also be considered. The long communication distance can reduce the number of Beacon base stations and reduce the system cost. If you want to cover a certain area, if the communication distance is short, you may need to put many base stations. If the communication distance is very good, only two or three base stations are needed.
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