Bluetooth Low Energy beacons moving towards Industry 4.0

Market entry of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons dates back to June 2013, with the launch by Apple of iBeacon technology, for micro-location applications (native technology on iOS, but also available on Android). Subsequently, new impetus to BLE beacons was given by the entry of Google in the market, with the launch of a comprehensive solutions platform that includes the Eddystone specifications (including the recent Eddystone-EID format for secure and encrypted broadcast), the Physical Web and a series of back-end services, all available for both iOS and Android.

At the beginning, BLE beacons have been applied mainly in marketing (for proximity marketing and customer engagement) and leisure (museums, events, parks, ...) applications. More recently, uses of BLE beacons in industry have begun to emerge, with capabilities that include indoor localization of personnel (with various possible levels of accuracy), identification and tracking of goods and equipment, access control, warehouse logistics, management of production processes, etc ...

Some of the existing BlueUp products are already applied in the industry: BlueBeacon Maxi and BlueBeacon Forte beacons and BlueBeacon Gateway, a device that can receive beacon broadcast packets and formward them over Ethernet. To respond even more precisely to the many requests coming from industry and manufacturing, BlueUp has expanded its offer with new products and solutions designed for Industry 4.0 and presented in preview at the recent fairs Illuminotronica 2016 (Padua) and SMAU 2016 (Florence and Milan):

- BlueBeacon Tag, a keyfob-like beacon, that can be worn an electronic badge for wireless identification of people and assets. BlueBeacon Tag will be available starting from early 2017 and can be pre-ordered by contacting us.

- an alternative version of BlueBeacon Gateway will be available, with a BLE directive antenna for more accurate multipath-free localization of beacons inside restricted areas (such as entry/exit gates);

- a special firmware version has been developed for BlueBeacon Board, configured in Central mode. BlueBeacon Board works as a BLE-beacon receiver with direct forwarding of the received frames on the TTL serial port (using ASCII encoding). This allows to implement a low-cost beacon receiver for distributed beacon-scanning systems.

- some models of our beacons (BlueBeacon Mini, Maxi, Forte and the forthcoming Tag) are now compatible with Quuppa Intelligent Locating System, a powerful technology RTLS platform for novel location-based services and applications. It enables real-time tracking of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons and tags, with accuracy less than one meter, even down to a few centimeters.

Other interesting innovations are planned for the beginning of 2017: the BlueUp development team is working hardly to ensure high-quality products and devices to our customers, aligned with the market needs.

For all information and requests about the abovementioned products, please contact us;