Indoor Positioning   |

When do I need to use beacons for indoor positioning?

Situm’s indoor positioning technology has a great advantage: the ease and speed of its deployment as it does not require the installation of dedicated infrastructure. However, every case is different, and sometimes we need a little extra help to achieve maximum accuracy and coverage across all devices with beacons. In this post we will explain when to use beacons for indoor positioning.

What is a beacon?

A beacon is a small device that emits a Bluetooth signal that smartphones, tablets and other intelligent devices can pick up when they pass by.

Beacon’s main advantages, compared to other options, are:

  • Small size. They do not disrupt the space.
  • Easy installation since it does not need wiring and can be fixed with an adhesive.
  • Energy-saving battery, requiring very little maintenance and extensive uninterrupted functioning for up to several years.

The core of Situm’s technology is a unique algorithm that combines the signals already present in buildings with the smartphone’s inertial sensors to position them indoors. As a basis, the need for beacons is not contemplated in most solutions.

Employee monitoring and tracking without beacons

Employee tracking and monitoring, one of Situm’s solutions, can be done without investing in or installing such beacons. The only thing to bear in mind is that the devices to be tracked must have an Android operating system (except Android 9) to be able to detect WiFi signals for a fast and accurate location.

If we have areas in our building where it is not possible to detect this WiFi signal, we will have to rely on some beacons to avoid “blind spots” and increase accuracy. However, it would not be imperative. Then, when do I need to use beacons for indoor positioning?

The use of beacons for guidance and wayfinding

To provide coverage to all kinds of devices, visitor guidance (in airports, hospitals, shopping malls, etc.) requires the installation of some beacons. Why? Whether in airports, vacation resorts, or shopping malls, the system we implement needs to be perfectly compatible with all the devices that may transit these locations. In other words, we must contemplate that people will use both Android and iOS devices in any of their versions. For the quality of the location not to be affected and for everyone to be able to use the guidance feature, we will have to install strategic beacons that will contribute to enable the most precise location for everyone:

  • Android: Devices with this operating system can detect WiFi signals (except for Android 9).
  • iOS: due to the impossibility of these devices to scan the buildings’ WiFi signals, installing beacons provides all the necessary signals for fast and precise positioning.

Nevertheless, Situm’s technology and robust location system use 40% fewer beacons than other options on the market to achieve the highest accuracy with minimal infrastructure.   

If you are interested in any of Situm’s solutions and do not know whether you will need to install beacons, do not hesitate to contact us.

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