The Internet of Things (IoT) is of great importance to industries worldwide. The need for wireless integration drives novel technologies to emerge and one of them is the beacon technology.
Beacons are small and inexpensive wireless devices that bridge the physical world to the internet, helping to automate processes. They use a Bluetooth low energy (BLE) signal to send out an alert of its presence to a nearby device such as a smartphone or a tablet. Apps or websites in the devices catch the signals and react accordingly. They can be used to send promotional notifications, offers, and coupons to customers in shopping malls, gate information and flight updates to passengers in airports, artist information to visitors in museums, menu list and offers to customers in restaurants, notifications to the employees on holidays or any events in organizations, and much more. Hence, beacons have been embraced by a wide array of industries globally, including transportation, healthcare, BFSI, education, retail, sports, and more.
Beacons can also be used for helping people find their way to a destination or the nearest exit in case of emergency, helping parents keep track of their children, alerting guests about controlling the lighting, temperature, or TV upon their entering a room, tracking deliveries and inventory, and for other purposes.
Due to their vast applications, beacons have been gaining a lot of popularity over the last few years. Their demand is growing owing to increased investments in proximity marketing and the enhanced capabilities of beacons such monitoring and tracking of employees & assets, safety and security monitoring, data generation, resource and space optimization, and others. According to Allied Market Research, the beacon market is likely to accrue a sum of $14,838.8 million by 2024, growing at a CAGR of 61.5%.
Given the growing demand for beacons, startups and giants in the space have jumped in to capitalize on this opportunity. For instance, in June 2018, Keekom LLC, a U.S.-based company came up with a user-friendly phone app for launching Bluetooth beacon advertising and launched a new line of beacons. The products can be used by merchants, real estate agents, retail stores, outdoor advertisers, service providers, venue sales marketers, and more to carry out their marketing and campaigns.
In June 2018, SoloProtect Limited, an international lone worker safety company recently unveiled a product called SoloProtect ID Pro which allows for streaming live videos during a Red Alert for quicker verification, receipt of geographically-triggered risk messaging, as well as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi-enabled indoor location capability. Cisco, an American networking hardware company recently announced its plans to acquire July Systems, a Burlingame, California based software provider with the aim of strengthening its Wi-Fi platform to foster better indoor location services capabilities. Synergy Group, a South American conglomerate developed a radio frequency identification equipment which serves as a gateway to Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons and can identify BLE devices of various standards.