Friday, August 09, 2013

BLE in Retail

An interesting company - Estimote. It creates Bluetooth beacons. Each tiny beacon has a built-in Bluetooth 4.0 chip, also called a BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy). The beacon can run for up to two years on a single coin battery. All the hardware is placed into the soft silicone case which has a sticky backside, allowing it to be easily attached to any flat surface like wood, concrete, or glass.

After installation, the Beacons begin transmitting 2.4 GHz Bluetooth® signals, similar to WiFi. They can communicate with smartphones that are as close as four inches away, or as far as 30 feet away.

Here is also a Wired article and an interesting discussion on YCombinator.

One remark: actually such a beacon could be replaced by Wi-Fi phone. Our SpotEx approach could be used here.

Just a quote:"We believe the whole indoor-navigation idea is wrong. There is no need to map every inch of the physical world and get X,Y coordinates. It's all about the context and placing tiny beacons in the doors, next to check-out, next to GoPro camera in the Best Buy. They you detect the proximity and the context and trigger an action." It is what SpotEx is about. Why do we need location if we can distribute data on the base of context info?

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