Pull your chair and sit. As you start reading this article you will begin to discover the fundamentals of Beacon Technology. And as you absorb these basics you will understand what you need to know about developing a mobile app with Beacon. Here, we have revealed the most important aspects to know while developing an IoT beacon app.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has been the new age of innovation. Today, from checking your heartbeat to counting your blood sugar, from playing your favorite songs to sharing them to nearby devices, everything is streamlined.
The global market for IoT-based solutions and B2B products soared to a whopping $212 billion by the end of last year. It is forecasted to grow to a resounding figure of $1.6 trillion by 2025.
IoT or Internet of Things has huge potential in wearable devices. This is the reason that app development companies for wearable devices have gained traction among businesses. Many companies are now looking towards mobile app development solutions based on technologies like BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy). It is a Bluetooth based technology.
IoT market has seen huge investments in Beacon Technology. The Beacon Technology was just a $519.6 million worth market, but, due to recent buzz around beacon-based mobile app development services, it is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 59.8% to reach $56.6 billion by 2026.
So, let’s understand what beacon technology actually is? And how to develop an app with it?
What is Beacons Technology?
Beacons are radio transmitters that are used to send one-way signals to other devices with receivers. Beacons are chips or antennas with a small circuit board for the better relay of signals. Beacons are manufactured in all sizes and major beacons produced are smaller in size.
Take an example of ‘iBeacons’, Apple’s developed its own beacon-based technology to support BLE beacon transmissions for its customers. It is actually a beacon standard for developers. A Mobile app development Company that wants to develop iBeacon apps need to follow this standard.
Beacon-based technologies allow the signals to be transmitted into a limited zone. The approximate distance is 100 feet particularly. But, without a mobile app that is domain-specific like airlines, sports-related or retailer apps, the required notification does not reach the target device.
Though mobile devices need Bluetooth to be on. Just take an example of a fitness tracker, that needs all the data to be recorded on your mobile’s app through Bluetooth. These trackers allow you to even receive calls or get notified of messages delivered on your device through Bluetooth.
How Do Beacons Work?
Beacons can detect a Bluetooth-enabled device that enters the beacon zone. Users need to download an associated app on the device. For this, store owners or any other business should hire a mobile development company to develop an IoT app.
The app will use beacon technology to detect user’s proximity and allow the app to send notifications, messages, promotional offers and other things. Though users have complete control over the notifications.
A Mobile App with Beacons:
To create a seamless performance on apps based on beacons technology, there are certain factors to look for, let’s know what they are and how they are essential to your beacon-based mobile app development.
1. Feature Design:
Beacons Technology is all about reaching the consumers in close proximity. When mobile app developers design the features of the app, they need to have relevant data regarding the user’s behavior integrated into the app features. Data like a number of visits by the users to a store in the locality, user’ preferences to a certain type of notifications, and radius of the zone that is best to reach the consumers.
Take an example of an app for an airline company. As the passengers reach the airport, the app should be able to use the beacons technology and open boarding passes in the app on the user’s device.
2. User Control:
Most of the users today need control over their devices and data to have complete control and security. So, in the case of beacon technology, a user needs to grant permission of location for access to features on the app. Another important thing is to keep the Bluetooth on, There are several other parameters that are necessary to be fulfilled for effective usage of beacon technologies along with the associated app.
Some of the essential parameters to look for are:
- The user’s device should have an appropriate Bluetooth configured.
- The device’s Bluetooth should be turned on.
- GPS location on the device should be on.
- Users should have already permitted the app to use the device’s location.
3. Hardware Integration:
Developers should understand the hardware integrations for the development of an app. Beacons are transmitters and there are several different factors that have a role to play for a signal throughput. Two of the most influential factors in beacons technology is
- Signal strength
- Distance between user and beacon
The signal strength of a beacon can be variable and is based on the efficiency of the manufacturer. While the distance between the user and beacon on the device is categorized into three different zones:
To take accurate measurements of proximity, apps are enabled with power measuring features. These features help apps to acquire information on locations and act on it. The distance between the beacon and the user’s device is calculated as a difference between the broadcasting power, measured power and signal variations with time.
The measured power of a signal depends on the bounce rate of radio waves and the presence of human bodies in the zone that can affect the signal strength through radio wave absorption. While the beacon signal can be affected by the battery, temperature, and polling intervals on a device.
4. App Servers:
Building an app for devices associated with beacon technologies needs an effective business logic script for all the essential data to fetch. The app may also need metadata of a floor plan for the identification of a user in the zone. Any app near a beacon in the user’s device fetches data from a beacon like universally unique user identity, other numbers like major or minor from the server.
Then the app queries the script to find other relevant beacons in the zone and filters the data to identify, whether a user is actually at a beacon or not. Once the app identifies the beacon based on data from servers, then it connects to through Bluetooth for notifications.
Beacon Technology has seen huge developments in the recent past. Retailers, e-commerce businesses, and other industries are now looking to capitalize on the beacons technology for better customer engagement. In this era of IoT-based smart devices, if you are looking for an app development company to create your business app with beacon technology then look no further.