Beacons are small, wireless transmitters that use low-energy emitting Bluetooth to send signals to other smart devices nearby.
Touted as dumb pieces of hardware that just communicate location information to mobile applications, Beacon technology, typically used in proximity marketing, has been making headlines outside of the space the past 18 months.
According to a report published by Research Dive, global beacon technology is being heavily utilized to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. The piece of tech, paired with the right application has been proven effective in preventing the spread of the virus.
As we all know, the common carriers of the Covid virus are human and tracking these carriers to further prevent the spread has never been easy especially during the early days when no contact tracing process was still in place.
This is where Geo fencing and beacon technology came in handy.
Each beacon has a unique ID which consists of letters and numbers. With the help of the unique ID, the tech converts your smartphone into a beacon that gives out signals, such as the unique ID gets broadcast to a receiver (like a phone), and software on that receiver (such as an app) can deliver content tailored to that beacon. If you can imagine this signal can now provide specific information on those who have been diagnosed positive, exposed, potential carriers etc in a given area.
Call it “simplified” but given the right process of and the capability of the app this creates a geo-fence of sorts for safe and Covid-19 prone areas.
For the past couple of months, Beacon has helped create contact tracing apps that utilize background metrics, such as mode of transportation, social distancing, average contact established, and self-isolation.
All around the globe, public and private sectors are making use of Beacon Technology to make a targeted area safe by proactively enforcing social distance and avoiding close contact through real-time alerts that send out warnings and current status. Several apps that interact with infrared cards, geolocation kiosks and proximity transmitters have begun to flood the market and they work primarily because of beacon technology.
In it’s own little way, this small inconspicuous device is helping us in this one big fight against the pandemic.