Will wireless interference and Wi-Fi impact beacons?

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Bluetooth technology uses frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS). This capability was designed to reduce interference between wireless technologies sharing the 2.4 GHz spectrum.

Properly configured WiFi network shouldn’t interfere with the Bluetooth signal. The best practice for WiFi configuration is enabling WiFi on one of the following channels: 1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Other channels: 2, 3, 4, 13, 14 might cause interference with Bluetooth signal and it’s best to avoid them. When configuring three different WiFi networks the best solution is to use channels 1, 6 and 11. This helps to avoid the interference with Bluetooth Smart and between themselves.

Image source:
http://www.element14.com/community/groups/wireless/blog/2013/08/23/bluetooth-low-energy

Beacons in close proximity

Interference between individual beacons shouldn't be a significant issue. If they're very close, though, due to RSSI fluctuations, you might not always get correct information on which one is closer to you.

Materials, obstruction, and reflection

If possible place Estimote Beacons above your audience to avoid wireless barriers or position them to provide a clear signal path. You can find advice for beacon positioning in this article:

Best practices for installing Estimote Beacons.

Below are some common material types and their interference potential.

  • Low interference potentials: wood, synthetic materials, and glass
  • Medium interference potentials: bricks and marble
  • High interferences potentials: plaster, concrete, and bulletproof glass
  • Very high interference potentials: metal, water
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5 Comment(s)

  • Avatar
    Simon

    If the range set to maximum(70m), did you have test with those 4 kinds of interference potentials? ex. with 1(2,3...) concrete(or wood) wall between ibeacon and iphone, how far can it keep connected?
    Thanks!

  • Avatar
    Ula Kierwiak

    Hi Simon,

    We haven't test beacons with different kind of interference. You should make some tests on your own when you decide to deploy your beacons, to find a perfect spot with the least interference possible.

  • Avatar
    Nizam Mahdin

    Can it still be functioning if it has been soaked in the water for long time? Tq

  • Avatar
    Wojtek Borowicz

    Hi Nizam,

    Our tests show Estimote Beacons withstand the same conditions as IP67-certified devices. This basically means that they will still work just fine after being submerged at the depth of 1m for 30 minutes. Keep in mind though that water absorbs radio waves, so underwater, the signal range will be drastically shortened.

    Cheers.

  • Avatar
    Arjan Hofman

    Hi Alex,

    Regarding close proximity interference between iBeacons, you say: " If they're very close, though,..." what is very close in this sense.

    Or putting it different, we want to use iBeacons to let employees (with apps) check in automatically on desks, so we can present availability. Can this work accurate even if we have blocks of 4 desks in one square?

    Thanks a lot,
    Arjan

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