What we have now
The reason for exploration of more beacons is due to the personal experience with Estimote stickers. While they are small, cheep and attractive, their battery life and hardware reliability may not up to the standards in which we require to get data for a realtime tracking system. Therefore we should look at alternative products before going ahead with Estimote stickers. The stickers were good for testing the system but may not be durable enough for everyday wear and tear. Here are some notes of the know Eddystone and iBeacon produces of location tracking systems:
Currently what we are testing now.
- $99 USD per 10. Stickers: Mini beacons which transmit iBeacon
- $59 USD per 3. Proximity Beacons: small base station beacons which transmit iBeacon and Eddystone
- $99 USD per 3. Distance Beacons: small base station beacons which transmit iBeacon and Eddystone
- Offer simple analytics through Estimote Cloud.
- SDK through iPhone or Android to find distance (in application)
- Recent Credibility:
Heavy development in the mobile phone development. Is not recommended for our aims.
- €275 Pounds per 10 base stations.
- Up to 20 broadcasts a second at 70m
- Provide a service to help assist in installation and maintenance.
- Works with any Beacon SDK (claimed?)
- Heavy smartphone development software (APK)
- Recent Credibility: European Maccabi Games, Wonderpots Frozen Yogert, Ebebek distribution
Nordic Semiconductor is a producer and seller of BLE and other radio frequency chips. They produce products to people looking to develop products. Not applicable to our field of study but should be noted for future reference.
- Microchip developer and retailer
- Has multiple products of BLE and radio
- Not standalone products
Impressive design of beacon exterior - attractive, however the sensor itself is more expensive than the base station, making scalability expensive in the long run. Decent specifications. Offers cloud bases assistance but not for visualisation (details not visually available).
- 30USD Each. Yunzi: round beacon (50cm Diameter, 19mm Thickness) @ 39g
- Temperature, light and accelerometer
- From 100ms to 1.3s transition intervals
- 2-5 years battery life
- Programing application for configuration
- Require programed base stations? $15USD each
- IPhone and Android SDK -> Applications heavy requirement
- Recent Credibility: Pizza Hut dining experience “Internet and Dining”, China High-Speed Railway
Probably the worst for our scenario as it is just the Beacon. Their proximity beacon has extremely low battery life and the USB reliant beacon is not smart and heavily reliant on existing technology. Heavy Android/iPhone reliant through application, doesn’t offer a strong cloud service for improving accuracy, reliant on proximity.
- Director SDK -> data management service, provide multiple software’s
- $14 USD Each. RadBeacon Dot: Sticker dots. Extremely low battery life and range
- $99 USD Each. PiBeacon product: A RPi which a proximity tool which scans for nearby beacons using their software
- $30 USD Each. RadBeaconUSB: Standalone USB BLE proximity beacon. Reliant on computer source for power of use
- $29 USD Each. RadBeacon X4: Study base station. Resistance to environmental affects with high uptime.
- Recent Credibility:
Accent Systems iBKS 105 is quite an affordable system. They appear to have a stronger battery life and broadcast rate. Their battery life may not be impressive but is covered by their cost and replaceable device.
- $130 USD for 10. iBKS 105
- Configurable through iPhone/Android application
- Advertised easy access to open
- Estimated 30-40 months lifespan (@1s intervals)
- Changeable broadcast rate from 100ms - 1s - 10s
- Uses Nordic Semiconductors nrf51822 chipset
- Recent Credibility: Samsonite Track&Go, Volkswagen keychain beacon, Ocluc Bluetooth Safe
Heavy service provision structure. Developed product with long battery life and reliable range, providing a service, SDK and product. Beacons greater than the competitors, costly but make up for it with long battery life. Offers additional sensors and products for scalability and meet requirement needs. Has been used in past work.
- Uploads data to a cloud service (monthly charge)
- Develop an online visualisation application
- Web SDK through their online representation
- Estimated 9-10 years battery life
- $23 USD Each: BEEKS BLE Beacon with Eddystone and iBeacon
- Offer different type of sensors in shapes, more applicable to our situation (cards)
- Scalability through products (ie beacon in power points)
- Beacon as removable tags
- Recent Credibility: Miami International Airport, Disruptive Real-Time locating system solution