Proximity Beacons vs Location Beacons


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?


The Proximity approach involves “tagging” certain areas (a hotel lobby, a restaurant table, an airport gate, etc.) with a “marker”—a beacon—recognizable by smartphones.  Using Estimote Monitoring, your app can simply detect it in the proximity, figure out which marker it is, and act accordingly. 

Estimote Proximity Beacons are designed to attach to fixed points in venues, to provide apps with location context. 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 come with Estimote Monitoring enabled by default. This enables you to monitor for the unlimited number of beacons, use software to dynamically manage and group beacons, and get reliable enter/exit events in your app. Learn more here.

Integrate proximity detection to your app with our step-by-step tutorials:

Estimote Proximity beacons also support Estimote Connection, Estimote Telemetry, iBeacon and Eddystone protocols. 


Indoor Location is about replicating the GPS technology, but indoors, where there’s no satellite coverage. It enables, your iOS and Android apps gain access to precise indoor (x,y) coordinates of the device.

Together with Estimote Indoor Location SDK, Location Beacons turn a smartphone into a sophisticated compass to position and navigate in any venue.

To integrate Indoor Location into your app, you can follow our tutorials:

Currently, there are two types of Location Beacons. 

  • Long-range Location Beacons
  • Location Beacons with UWB

Location Beacons with UWB are the new generation of our core long-range Location beacons tailored especially for Indoor Location. Together with our Indoor Location app for iOS, they will automatically map out a location and create a floor plan—courtesy of the UWB radio they’re equipped with, and Estimote Automapping technology. 

Long Range Location Beacons do the same work with manual mapping. Instead of using Estimote Automapping, Indoor Location app for iOS asks you to help measure the room during the mapping process.

Both Long-range Location Beacons and Location Beacons with UWB support multi-packet advertising, mesh networking, have built-in sensors, and a range of 200m. Location Beacons can broadcast multiple packets simultaneously. Besides Estimote Monitoring, iBeacon and Eddystone, there are other packets available:

  • Estimote Connection
  • Estimote Indoor Location
  • Estimote Telemetry
  • Here&Now

To learn more about the packets, read: What is a beacon protocol? 

Location Beacons also have additional sensors/features:

  • Ambient light sensor
  • Magnetometer
  • Real-Time Clock
  • GPIO port

What to pick?

Proximity is about apps detecting they’re near areas of interest or objects. If you need to know if the user is in the lobby or in the kitchen go for Proximity. 

Indoor Location is about apps gaining access to precise indoor (x,y) coordinates of the device, positioning and navigating. If you need to know where in the lobby or kitchen user is exactly (at the reception or in the lounge zone, next to a coffee machine or close to a fridge) Indoor Location is the way to go.



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    Abhishek Bedi

    How to know if I have proximity or location beacon ?

Estimote is