'The beacons are coming, the beacons are coming' ... to the enterprise
Beacons are all the rage for large indoor and outdoor venues. Shopping malls are rushing to deploy them to provide location-based services like context-aware coupons, while stadiums are deploying them to keep audiences engaged in the action.
But beacons are also making their way into the enterprise, according to a Baseline Magazine article by contributor Mike Elgan.
Beacons are low-cost hardware that use Bluetooth low-energy connections to transmit data to mobile devices in order to determine the location of those devices.
In the enterprise, employees will be able to use their mobile devices to book conference rooms, as well as find out who is in a room and when it is vacant by using a smartphone app, explained Elgan. In addition, the beacons can be used to share notes, take attendance and control lighting, thermostats and projectors.
PCs can be used as beacons, so they can turn on at an employee's approach and turn off when the employee leaves the desk.
"Objects will use beacons to identify their location, enabling IT to keep track of laptops, tablets, projectors and other portable equipment. Prototypes, architectural models and other objects will broadcast their location to anyone interested at all times," Elgan wrote.
In addition, beacons can be used for facility access and egress, making badges and key cards unnecessary. Tracking deliveries with a large office complex can be enabled by beacons.
"The larger point is that the whole conversation around beacons—which obsesses over retail coupon delivery, stadium and museum navigation, and check-ins—currently focuses almost exclusively on consumer-facing applications. In fact, however, the impact of beacons will be just as great (if not greater) on business and enterprise applications and in our workplaces," Elgan predicted.
- Check out Elgan's article at Baseline Magazine
- Seattle Seahawks try out beacons at CenturyLink Field
- Security, functionality gaps exist in beacon deployments
- Beacon tech finds new applications outside of sales, marketing