What is Beacon and what does it consist of?

In technology we can find a multitude of devices designed for one or two uses, but rarely do we encounter such a simple technology that at the same time serves to improve many aspects of our lives, do you know what Beacon is and what it consists of?

Surely you know that frustration of entering a tunnel while driving and that the mobile browser stops showing you the way because you have lost the GPS connection. The devices that we are going to talk about in this report could solve this and many other problems.

Beacons are also known as beacons and are small devices that connect via Bluetooth. Such a simple innovation could go unnoticed, but many of the economic sectors are using these devices to improve their services or increase their clientele.

Sending messages, announcements, getting offers from stores, or locating an object are some of the many applications that are being given to beacons, but first let's see how they work.

Beacons are low-power devices that, through Buetooth, can send some information to the devices that are close to them. They can have a distance range between 10 and 40 meters so when our mobile or tablet approaches this area you receive a message with the information that this beacon is scheduled to send.

It is not necessary for both devices to be previously linked as it happens with headphones or smart watches. Even if it is the first time you pass through that area you will receive the message on your mobile. This happens because the connection is one way, that is, the beacon emits and your mobile receives.

In order for this system to be secure and not to transmit any malware, a series of protocols have been created that make our mobile receive a beacon identification code and consult it with a server. Once its authenticity has been verified, the mobile allows the beacon to communicate with him.

What uses do beacons have?

But this message that is going to reach us on mobile is what it is for? Well, imagine that you are walking through a shopping center or a street full of shops and you get an offer with discounts on several products from a nearby store.

Brands are using this technology to communicate with potential customers in the area and thus encourage them to enter. Of course, in order for these notices to arrive, you usually need to install the application of that brand on your mobile phone and thus not bombard everyone with the messages.

But this is not the only function a beacon can have. As we said at the beginning, if you go in a tunnel where the connection to the GPS is lost, these beacons can accompany us along the way and tell our navigation application where the tunnel is so that it warns us when we are approaching the departure. An option that Waze is already launching.

Another option, also related to traffic, was presented by Uber a while ago. This transport company proposes to implant in the future an LED light with a beacon on the windshield of each of its cars. As the car we have requested approaches, the beacon will detect our mobile and will turn the color we have chosen to detect what our car is more easily.

They can also be used for tourism in museums or key points of the city where they give us information about the history and value of an exhibition or monument, as this video from the Hasselbland center of Sweden shows.

With the arrival of Bluetooth 5.0 and the increase in the Internet of Things, we will see how this technology begins to proliferate in our society and we end up giving it many more uses.