A new class of low powered transmitters that can notify a Bluetooth enabled device of their presence.
Beacon technology works using the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, also known as Bluetooth Smart.
They broadcast a unique serial number for identification.
These units comprise the location based component of a proximity positioning system designed to locate objects inside a specific area.
Software on a receiving device identifies a Beacon, the integrated GPS capability of the receiving device and the proximity capability of the Beacon provides time stamped location information within inches, feet or yards of the Beacon.
Beacons can also include additional sensory modules to increase the type of information collected. Environment sensors for temperature, humidity or an accelerometer for motion detection.
Proximity Only and Proximity/Sensor Beacons
All Beacons Emit/Pulse a Bluetooth Low Energy Signal containing a unique serial number or identifier
Signal strength determines distance to receiver
BEACON TECHNICAL DETAILS
Data Connection – Bluetooth Smart (low energy) supports very short data packets (8 octet minimum up to 27 octets maximum) that are transferred at 1 Mbps.
Frequency Hopping – Bluetooth Smart (low energy) uses the adaptive frequency hopping common to all versions of Bluetooth technology to minimize interference from other technologies in the 2.4 GHz ISM Band. Efficient multi-path benefits increase the link budgets and range.
Host Control – Bluetooth Smart (low energy) places a significant amount of intelligence in the controller, which allows the host to sleep for longer periods of time and be woken up by the controller only when the host needs to perform some action. This allows for the greatest battery power savings within the beacon itself.
Latency - Bluetooth Smart (low energy) can support connection setup and data transfer as low as 3ms, allowing an application to form a connection and then transfer authenticated data in few milliseconds for a short communication burst before quickly tearing down the connection.
Range – Increased modulation index provides a possible range for Bluetooth Smart (low energy) of over 100 meters
Interference Free – Bluetooth Smart (low energy) uses a strong 24 bit CRC on all packets ensuring the maximum robustness against interference
Strong Security – Full AES-128 encryption using CCM to provide strong encryption and authentication of data packets
Topology – Bluetooth Smart (low energy) uses a 32 bit access address on every packet for each slave, allowing billions of devices to be connected. The technology is optimized for one-to-one connections while allowing one-to-many connections using a star topology.