Estimote Proximity Beacons and Estimote Location Beacons are two separate product lines. This split represents two different approaches, different types of use cases. Let’s dig into the difference a little, shall we?
Estimote Proximity Beacons
Proximity approach involves “tagging” certain areas (a hotel lobby, a restaurant table, an airport gate, etc.) with a “marker”—a beacon—recognizable by smartphones. You can tune beacon’s broadcasting power to adjust the range of this marker. Your app can simply detect it in the proximity, read its identifier to figure out which marker it is, and act accordingly.
Estimote Proximity Beacons offer long battery life and great range and are usually put on walls, tables, shelves and other static objects. Mobile apps with beacon support can then detect the smartphone coming in and out of range of a beacon, and act on that information. Estimote Proximity Beacons support iBeacon and Eddystone protocols, offer over three years of battery life on default settings and have a range of up to 70 meters. They were designed to attach to fixed points in venues, to provide apps with location context.
Adding simple beacon detection code to your app with Estimote SDK will take you 30 minutes with our tutorial.
Estimote UWB Location Beacons and Long-range Location Beacons
Estimote UWB Location Beacons are the new generation of our core product coming to you with several improvements. They are tailored for Indoor Location, becoming the first version of hardware dedicated to the location approach. Together with Estimote Indoor Location SDK, they turn a smartphone into a sophisticated compass to position and navigate in any venue. Our Indoor Location app for iOS will help you map your space out in just a few minutes, and then our tutorial will help you integrate Indoor into your own app.
Both Long-range Location Beacons and Location Beacons with UWB support multi-packet advertising, mesh networking, have built-in sensors and the range of 200m.
The main difference is the purpose. For Indoor Location, pick Location Beacons with UWB - they support Estimote Automapping and have been specially optimized for Estimote Indoor Location.
For other use cases, IoT prototyping, or enterprise-grade deployments choose Location Beacons - the most robust beacons on the market.
Estimote UWB Location Beacon, as well as Long-range Location Beacons, can broadcast multiple packets simultaneously. Besides iBeacon and Eddystone, there are new packets available:
- Estimote Connectivity
- Estimote Location
- Estimote Telemetry
To learn more about new packets and their specifics, read: What is a beacon protocol?
There are also new sensors installed, so adding to the accelerometer and temperature sensor, it is possible to make use of an ambient light sensor, magnetometer, and Real-Time Clock. To find out more about sensors, check out: What kind of sensors do Estimote Beacons have?
Conditional Broadcasting is brought to a new level with Dark to Sleep mode and scheduled advertising. The ambient light sensor makes it possible to mute a beacon, depending on the level of light accessible. Along with that, a Real-Time Clock (RTC) allows to schedule advertising for specific hours, therefore, giving you more control over broadcasting.
One more major change is a battery. Location Beacons have an increased battery life: 7 years on default settings, as well as improved battery saving settings thanks to the Smart Power Mode. Refresh your knowledge on battery modes here: What's the battery life of Estimote Beacons? Can I optimize it?
GPIO introduction is an exciting opportunity to connect Location Beacons with various devices. GPIO is General Purpose Input/Output and it turns a Location Beacon into an external controller. Depending on the mode, Estimote Location Beacon can become an input for the device, transmitting data to remotely control it or an output that reads data from GPIO and broadcasts it, notifying you through an app. Find out more about GPIO: What is GPIO?
It all boils down to your use case. Check out the [this link](http://estimote.com/products/) to learn about the differences between the products and make a right choice.