In a facility setting, many of our customers deal with dozens of external visitors or employees from various offices on a daily basis, and they struggle to direct the flow of people in the right direction, especially with the challenges of COVID-19.
This system has an infinite number of applications. One is, as previously stated, navigation to a reserved resource. Another example is the possibility of finding a specific person inside the building (for privacy reasons, the default setting of the application does not allow location tracking; this must be activated manually by the user of the application) and reaching him or her in a simple and time-saving manner such as in the case of an external visitor arriving at the office. All network-connected resources, such as printers, meeting rooms, desks, parking lots, people, company cantinas, vending machines, elevators, and so on, can be reached using indoor navigation.
Other architectural solutions are possible, such as those based on BLE mesh networks, which are a very competitive option when update rate and high level position accuracy are not as critical.
Mesh network architectures enable devices (tags, beacons) to be powered solely by batteries, removing the complexity and lowering the cost of wired devices (clearly at the expense of performance, measured in terms of accuracy and frequency of position update).
Safety first: a use case that concerns us closely
The need for security and safety has provided a significant impetus to the use of beacon technology and BLE specifically across a variety of industries. Monitoring and controlling unauthorized access to restricted areas; monitoring of lone workers working inside the plant, with the possibility of localization in the event of an adverse event (alarm button pressure, fall, absence of movement); verification of the correct implementation of control procedures and inspection by surveillance personnel are some application examples. In terms of worker health and safety, the COVID-19 pandemic has created new demands for contact tracing, social-distancing, and assembly control, for which BLE-based localization technologies have proven invaluable.