Beacon is a transmitter, is send a signal like a lighthouse
I like to compare beacon to a lighthouse. It keeps keeps sending the same signal all over again. Beacons do not send light signals, they send a radio signals as numbers and letters in specific time intervals. A device that has Bluetooth - like a smartphone - can detect that signal once it is in rage - just like sailor and lighthouses.
Above you see example of our most robust beacon called: Edge.
What is a beacon transmitting?
Beacon transmits unique ID - so it can be uniquely identified - that is it.
We install beacons in the booths at the event and register those beacons with the attendee app. This means that smartphone can recognize that incoming ID is important and perform actions like showing you and custom notification or taking you directly to particular exhibitor inside the app.
Now we use primarily Apple iBeacons and Google's Eddystone, but the development of Bluetooth started 1989 as a search for short distance link detection and data transfer. If you are geeky as I am check this wikipedia article.
Beacon Transfer Specs - WARNING: uber-geeks level
- Battery life: Beacons usually have 8-24 month battery life. What allows them to work so long is the BLE part - they are incredibly energy efficient.
- Supported format: as mentioned before, usually its iBeacons and Eddystone.
- Interval: This part is programmable, in our case we stick to less than 1 second intervals to keep the data as detailed as we can.
- Tx Power: The Transmission Power defines the signal strength. Check specs of Pearl Beacon to see how far it can reach.
- Packets: A beacon’s “packet” is the data it transmits - so its the id we mentioned before. iBeacon contains one packet (iBeacon itself) while Eddystone has three separate entries.
- Sensors: These days, beacons are coming out with extra capabilities. They may include light, movement sensors or temperature