Source - Diego Leal for Voila
More and more companies start using indoor navigation to develop their business. In 2020, the global indoor positioning market was estimated at 6.92 bln US dollars. It is expected to increase up to 23.6 bln US dollars by 2025, i.e. the rate of their growth will be on average 27.9% per year. The popularity of beacon navigation is attributed to its practically unlimited functionality. With this technology, it is not only possible to build routes and navigate inside buildings, but also to optimize business processes with detailed movement analytics. Technologies in the field are constantly evolving and find ways to be implemented in growing industries.
How does iBeacon-based indoor navigation work?
At its core, iBeacon technology is driven by small transmitters also called beacons that emit Bluetooth® LE signals. Bluetooth® LE bandwidth ensures instant digital communication between users and physical space.
After being mounted on the walls or ceiling, beacons are configured to transmit signals with a certain frequency. Once a user with a smartphone is within the effective range of the beacon, the phone picks up the signals and defines its position. In order for the indoor navigation to work an app with positioning, features have to be installed. After that users can find themselves on the indoor map and build routes to the existing facilities. Beacons are affordable, energy-efficient, and cheap devices. Beacon wayfinding can solve a wide range of tasks:
- localization in real-time;
- building routes to points of interest;
- gathering statistics about visitors’ traffic;
- creating heat maps of premises.
iBeacon technology has lots of advantages, such as improving the quality of customer service, increasing profits, and making business more efficient. Beacon navigation allows companies to create user-friendly mobile applications equipped with the indoor navigation function and is simple to integrate into existing applications.
Learn more about the solution in our article - "Indoor Navigation with Bluetooth Low Energy beacons".
Why is beacon navigation better than GPS for indoor positioning?
10 years ago GPS technology was the main way of navigation. It is a satellite-based navigation systems that allows locating an object in the open air. However, often the satellite signals are not effective inside buildings. Even though they can sometimes be picked up inside a building, it isn’t enough to use them for tasks related to positioning and navigation.
In contrast to satellite navigation, beacon navigation runs effectively inside any building. The system functions in real-time and ensures higher localization accuracy. With iBeacon technology position is detected with an accuracy of 3-10 m, for GPS these figures are about 20 m outdoors. Furthermore, beacons work on batteries and consume considerably less energy than GPS devices.
Using beacon navigation in various industries
Indoor navigation systems almost have no limitations in application. They can be implemented in any industry but the most common ones are healthcare, retail, and arts.
The technology is an optimal solution for large medical centers with several floors or buildings.
With indoor positioning systems, patients can easily find appointment rooms, build routes inside the health facilities even before entering the building. This significantly contributes to the overall performance and quality of patients' experience inside the health facility.
Crowds of people and problems finding the necessary goods are among the most significant problems of shopping centers. Beacon navigation is an effective solution to these questions. Users only need to install a mobile application of a shopping center to ensure step-by-step navigation inside shopping mall and create routes to the necessary shops.
The system can help with the following issues:
- create the map of store premises;
- a quick search for goods and points of interest, like cafes or toilets;
- sending targeted push notifications to visitors;
- simplifying the process of searching for cars in parking lots.
Indoor navigation in educational institutions simplifies the search for classrooms and increases comfort both for students and university staff. Using the platform, one can quickly navigate inside buildings and create short routes based on the location. The system helps to minimize the number of late arrivals and saves time spent searching for the destination.
New technologies are replacing printing and audio guides turning museums into advanced and modern institutions. The main task of beacon applications is to make a visit to an exhibition simpler and more informative. Thanks to the platform, users can easily find exhibit items of their interest. The smart guide option in the application enables a quick arrival at the necessary halls and provides useful information about exhibits.
The system in museums is used for:
- creating maps of halls with the indication of the exhibit’s location;
- building routes around the museum;
- providing digital content;
- sending out targeted notifications.
Navigine specializes in developing and implementing iBeacon-based indoor navigation systems. Users are offered a wide set of tools that can enable indoor positioning in any industry.
Are you interested in beacon navigation? Discuss more in a private free consultation: