Bluetooth Beacons: Uses, Advantages and Disadvantages

Ilaha Mammadova

Apr 01, 2024

7 min read

Bluetooth Beacons

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Bluetooth Beacon is a radio transmitter that uses Bluetooth low-energy signals to transmit information. There are 5 uses of Bluetooth beacons, including customer tracking, proximity marketing, indoor navigation, inventory management, safety, and emergency. There are 5 advantages of Bluetooth beacons, including cost-effectiveness, low energy consumption, wide range area, ease of use, and improved marketing activities. There are 5 disadvantages of Bluetooth beacons, including dependency on the user device, integration challenges, privacy risks, battery life, and range limitations.

BLE beacons transmit Bluetooth low-energy signals and operate after being detected by Bluetooth-enabled devices. Consequently, users receive information after the process. The working range of Bluetooth beacon technology is limited, sending data only within a specific meter range. QR codes transmit information similar to Bluetooth BLE beacons, but users must scan QR codes to receive information. In contrast, NFC tags work at closer distances compared to Bluetooth beacons. The setup process for BLE beacons isn't straightforward, requiring device configuration and integration. A relay Bluetooth beacon utilizes secure technology and poses no threat when used correctly. BLE beacons function without internet connectivity.

What Is a Bluetooth Beacon?

Bluetooth Beacon is a radio transmitter that uses Bluetooth low-energy signals to transmit information. It operates with a small and discreet battery. BLE Beacon does not require the internet; it simply sends information to nearby devices. The technology helps businesses automate the process of transmitting information. The transmission of information occurs automatically when devices enter the Beacon's range. It is particularly used for sending advertisements, notifications, unique identifiers, and location-based information. Bluetooth Beacon technology is widely used in marketing campaigns. It detects and receives signals when Bluetooth is active on mobile phones, computers, and other devices within proximity. Beacons are typically placed in public locations such as museums, airports, stadiums, and other public venues.

How do Bluetooth Beacons Work?

Bluetooth Beacons work by transmitting Bluetooth Low Energy signals detected by active Bluetooth devices. Firstly, a Beacon Bluetooth emits a BLE beacon signal for devices to detect presence. Devices automatically receive the Bluetooth beacon signal when devices enter the beacon's range. Secondly, the device's operating system interprets the signal. Thirdly, the device executes pre-programmed actions such as delivering information, advertisements, indoor navigation, or other designated processes based on the information received from the signal. The information delivery is utilized across various industries and business settings. Beacons are power-efficient and are devices with lower power consumption. The information transmission function extends from a few meters to several hundred meters. However, the more extensive the range, the more battery consumption it requires.

What are the Uses of Bluetooth Beacons?

The 5 uses of Bluetooth beacons are listed below.

  • Customer tracking: The Bluetooth Beacon tracking is utilized by various stores, venues, and companies to monitor customer movements. Beacons track issues like how long customers stay in one place and which areas attract more customers, providing valuable insights to the companies.
  • Proximity marketing: The Bluetooth beacon is used by many stores and companies for proximity beacon marketing. Customers receive messages about discounts or campaigns running in the store when they pass by or near a specific billboard or poster. Customers become aware of ongoing campaigns when they are near the store.
  • Indoor navigation: The Bluetooth Beacon is used for closed spaces like airports, hospitals, large buildings, and shopping centers where GPS signals do not reach. Beacon device transmits data showing floor plans, helping customers find a way around easily.
  • Inventory management: The Bluetooth Beacon is used to accurately track the location of inventory within a warehouse or store. Bluetooth beacon tracking simplifies inventory management processes, making them more straightforward.
  • Safety and emergency: The Bluetooth Beacon transmits instructions and warnings in buildings or public areas when a dangerous situation or emergency occurs.

How far is the Bluetooth Beacons' Working Range?

Bluetooth beacon's working range is far between 10 to 30 meters. However, a BLE beacon extends the beacon range to 70-100 meters and sometimes even more, depending on various factors. The more extensive the range, the higher the battery consumption. Several factors affect the working range. One factor is transmission power; higher transmission power extends the range. Second, obstacles like furniture or thick walls weaken Bluetooth signals, affecting the range. Third, battery life impacts the range; weaker batteries affect the range of the Bluetooth BLE beacon.

What are the Advantages of Bluetooth Beacons?What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Bluetooth Beacons?

The 5 advantages of Bluetooth beacons are listed below.

  • Cost-effective: Bluetooth beacons are cost-effective. The beacon hardware is affordable, and the system is tailored to any business without requiring additional infrastructure. Beacons positively impact companies' costs due to Bluetooth beacons' energy efficiency.
  • Low energy consumption: Bluetooth beacons conserve energy by transmitting BLE signals. Regular Bluetooth consumes a lot of power, leading to quicker battery drain. BLE beacon consumes minimal energy and is designed for devices with lower power.
  • Wide range area: Bluetooth beacons transmit BLE signals with a beacon range extending up to 300 meters. The feature makes beacons particularly advantageous in enclosed spaces. One of its key benefits is the ability to work over such a vast area.
  • Ease of use: Bluetooth beacons are used without additional setup. Bluetooth beacons are placed on the asset to be tracked, and data is collected. The relay Bluetooth beacon starts operating when beacons detect any nearby active Bluetooth signals.
  • Improved marketing activities: Bluetooth beacons are used to send special campaigns, discounts, and various information to people around stores. It is crucial for marketing activities and streamlines the process. It's considered an inexpensive strategy to communicate with people. Attracting customers around the store becomes easier, directly impacting sales.

What are the Disadvantages of Bluetooth Beacons?

The 5 disadvantages of Bluetooth beacons are listed below.

  • Dependency on user device: Bluetooth beacons' functionality relies directly on the user's device since beacons only operate when the user's Bluetooth is turned on. Signals are not received, and information is not automatically transmitted if the user's device is not connected to Bluetooth.
  • Integration challenges: Bluetooth beacon device integration is not straightforward. Setting up a Bluetooth beacon, ensuring compatibility with various devices and software, and testing the process requires effort and time.
  • Privacy risks: Bluetooth beacons pose privacy risks because Bluetooth beacons identify users' locations. Some users are concerned about the known location information and perceive it as a risk.
  • Battery life: Bluetooth beacons operate on batteries, leading to frequent battery depletion issues. Especially during frequent data transmission, the battery drains faster, necessitating frequent replacements.
  • Range limitations: Bluetooth beacons have a limited range, typically working within a specific number of meters. Low-energy Bluetooth beacons do not function effectively over extended ranges if beacons are required for longer distances.

How are Bluetooth Beacons Compared to QR Codes in Terms of Usability?

Bluetooth beacons have a limited range compared to QR codes in terms of usability. Bluetooth beacon hardware delivers information only to users within a certain distance. However, QR codes are placed anywhere and require users to scan them to access the information. Scanning action is necessary for QR codes, whereas, with beacons, the information is transmitted automatically without any action required from the user. Signals are received, and messages are sent during relay Bluetooth beacon usage when users enter the beacon range and have Bluetooth enabled. However, the user must scan the code to access the information in QR codes. The Bluetooth beacon hardware integration and setup process is more complex than the quick generation and use of QR codes through specialized generators like QR Code Creator.


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How are Bluetooth Beacons Compared to NFC Tags in Terms of Efficiency?

Bluetooth beacons operate within a broader range compared to NFC tags in terms of efficiency. Signals are received, and information is automatically transmitted when a user enters the range during relay Bluetooth beacon usage with an active Bluetooth-enabled device. Contrarily, NFC tags require physical contact for usage and close proximity of just a few centimeters. The prevalence of Bluetooth low-energy beacon usage is relatively higher than that of NFC tags. NFC tag usage typically operates within a range of 4 to 10 centimeters, sometimes even up to 10 centimeters, while BLE device usage operates within a range of 10-70 centimeters. NFC tags do not require a battery, but beacons operate on batteries and need replacement once depleted. Finally, Bluetooth beacons are more expensive than NFC tags due to configuration and integration requirements.

Are Bluetooth Beacons Easy to Set Up?

No, Bluetooth beacons are not easy to set up. Bluetooth BLE beacons' ease of setup varies depending on the number of beacons, intended use, and the environment. Firstly, the strategic placement of beacons and configuring all parameters are crucial. Secondly, integrating beacons with other devices is necessary for the operation, requiring pairing and beacon signal reception, which is a challenging process involving planning and experience. Lastly, testing the setup process to ensure proper and effective functionality is essential.

How Much Do Bluetooth Beacons Cost?

The average Bluetooth beacon cost typically ranges from $23 to $25. However, the price range isn't universal for all Bluetooth beacons. Some Bluetooth beacons start from $5 to $10, while others go up to hundreds of dollars, particularly those with long battery life, higher durability, and an additional beacon sensor, all contributing to higher prices. The cost varies based on the type, brand, transmission power, functionality, and whether purchased individually or in bulk.

How Many Bluetooth Beacons can a Complete System have?

The number of Bluetooth beacons in a complete system varies based on different factors, including specific use, deployment area size, functionality, and system capability. Large deployments manage more beacons, but battery management becomes increasingly important, especially when beacons need to be monitored and replaced on a regular basis. The overall system supporting Bluetooth beacon technology must be powerful enough to manage the information effectively. Managing the signals on the receiving device becomes challenging, necessitating consideration of all the factors for efficient operation when the number of beacons increases significantly. Devices within the range must support a relay Bluetooth beacon to work effectively.

How is Bluetooth Beacon as an Alternative to QR Code?

Bluetooth beacons are an alternative to QR codes because both convey information to users, encompassing various data types. However, there are differences in how they are used. BLE beacons automatically send information to users without requiring action, while QR codes necessitate users to scan them for data transmission. A relay Bluetooth beacon operates within a limited range, while distance is not a factor for QR codes; users even scan QR codes digitally. However, physical proximity is necessary for users to scan QR codes effectively when QR codes are used in printed form. The process of generating QR codes is straightforward using QR code generators, unlike the installation and integration complexity associated with BLE beacons.

Are the Bluetooth Beacons Secure?

Yes, Bluetooth beacons are generally secure, but the complete security depends on how beacons are used. Weak encryption processes allow scammers to connect to beacons, reconfigure beacons, or even change passwords. Thus, special attention must be given to encryption. Physical protection is crucial for beacons to prevent tampering with the parameters. Regular updates for beacon programs enhance security. Proper and secure placement of beacons is essential to avoid potential risks.

Are Bluetooth Beacons Dependent on the Internet?

No, Bluetooth beacons are not dependent on the internet. Bluetooth beacons transmit BLE signals without relying on the internet. Any Bluetooth-enabled device within the beacon's range detects the signals without the need for internet connectivity. The overall operational process does not require Internet access. However, internet access becomes necessary to access that content or perform those functions when transmitted data involves displaying online content or utilizing remote management functionality.

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Content Manager

Ilaha Mammadova

As an experienced content manager, Ilaha specializes in crafting SEO-friendly content that blends creativity and strategy. With a passion for delivering high-quality, engaging content, Ilaha focuses on innovative ideas to help brands elevate their digital presence. Her dedication to excellence ensures that every piece ranks well and resonates with the target audience, making a lasting impact. In her free time, she enjoys singing a song and capturing moments through photography, adding an extra touch of creativity to everything she does.

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