The Beginner’s Guide to Beacons
New to proximity technologies? This guide provides a comprehensive overview of beacon technology along with information to help you understand how they can deliver benefits to your cleaning business and customers or security business and customers. Beacon technology provides real-time tracking of officers and proof of service to cleaning contractors’ customers. In this eBook, we walk through the different ways service contractors can supercharge their workforce with proximity technology.
What Are Beacons?
Beacons are small wireless devices that broadcast signals using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology. Mobile apps on compatible devices listen for signals from beacons placed in the physical world and then trigger an experience via the app. Experiences include sending a notification, coupon, video, form, URL or other form of media relevant to a person’s exact location.
Beacons come in many different forms and cost anywhere from $1-50 depending on signal range, battery life and other factors. They’re usually powered by a coin cell or AA battery. Some beacon manufacturers claim their beacons can last up to three years on a single lithium battery, however this depends on the power source, power settings and advertising interval of the beacon. Typically, a beacon is comprised of a surrounding case, battery, processor chip and Bluetooth radio. Some beacons contain additional sensors such as an accelerometer and heat sensor.
What is Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)?
BLE is an intelligent and power-friendly version of Bluetooth wireless technology and exchanges data over short distances using radio transmissions. The power of BLE is its ability to work with an app on a smartphone, tablet or any other compatible mobile device. The technology itself is simple, secure and featured in billions of devices ranging from mobile phones and computers to medical devices and home entertainment products. It’s intended to replace the cables that connect devices, while maintaining high levels of security. BLE is one of the key technologies behind the continued growth of the Internet of Things (IoT)—a network of physical objects that can exchange data via the existing internet infrastructure.
Beacon Use Cases
Using beacons with a location tracking solution can improve the delivery of contract services through increased transparency, improved response and visibility of issues, and eliminated inefficient paper-based processes and record keeping. Some uses include:
- Access control and security
- Asset monitoring and employee tracking
- Task Management
- Automated check-ins
- Feedback and ratings
- Mapping and resource management
- People and workforce tracking
Once you have a thorough understanding of how beacons can deliver value to your business and customers, you’re ready to take the plunge and start using beacons as part of your workforce management solution.
Once you’ve successfully deployed your beacon network, you should regularly review your analytics to understand whether the program is meeting your goals. Much like managing a website, use analytics to draw out insights and make recommendations to improve the user experience and drive results for your business.