Chances are that you already have Estimote Beacons deployed somewhere and are contemplating purchasing our brand new LTE Beacon. While there are a lot of standalone use cases, Estimote LTE Beacon can also be used to enhance many existing deployments. HereBelow, we explore three popular ideas.
Track assets without mobile devices
Scenario: You need to keep track of the assets at your facility - know where they are, optimize production, and alert employees when assets reach specific areas.
Current approach: Tracking assets with the existing stack requires mobile devices nearby, typically smartphones, tablets or Raspberry Pi's. The device is necessary to obtain the last location of assets and upload this information. This requires you to either place plenty of mobile devices around a venues (a rather costly endeavor) or to attaching them to assets (also costly and rather inconvenient in most situations)
What's possible now: Now, you can use LTE Beacons instead of mobile devices and get the same exact functionalities. For example, you can use them as mobile tracking devices. In this case, you would attach a beacon to an asset, and the moment it gets into the range of another beacon, it will alert the Cloud that it’s entered that specific area. Alternatively, you can keep them stationary, in a similar fashion to how you’d use Proximity beacons, to trigger events when other beacons get in their range. This solution is certainly much cheaper and, due to the size of beacons, much more convenient.
Keep track of things both indoors & outdoors
Scenario: You transport goods between locations and need to keep track of them at all times.
Current approach: Tracking assets indoors and outdoors requires combining GPS and indoor tracking technologies such as BLE. It's perfectly doable, but rather cumbersome - you need to get the right permissions, define the conditions for a switch between the different technologies, optimize for edge cases, etc. On top of that, you still need a phone or at least a Raspberry to manage all these things with an app.
What's possible now: Estimote LTE Beacon comes with LTE, GPS, and BLE modules, ready to work together at ease. When an asset leaves a venue, the beacon attached to it can instantly switch to GPS tracking. When an item with a beacon attached enters its destination, the beacon can again switch to listening to Bluetooth packets instead. The current location of a beacon can also be uploaded over LTE or (in a limited capacity) stored on a the beacon for when there's no LTE coverage.
Get additional data from beacons
Scenario: You’ve deployed your beacons and want to keep track of their battery status. You also want to know if they fall or go missing. On top of that, you wouldn’t mind getting some sensors data on a regular basis.
Current approach: Beacons can broadcast Estimote Telemetry packets with all sorts of data - battery level, accelerometer, temperature, or other sensors readings. Since they have no internet connectivity, they need a mobile device nearby to upload this data. Placing one in each room of your venue is costly and not always safe. Another approach would be to let apps installed on a nearby user's device to listen to telemetries and upload them. The drawback of this approach is that, to make sense of the data, you need to have people with your app show up regularly around the beacons.
What's possible now: Estimote LTE Beacons can be programmed to listen to telemetry packets and upload them directly to Estimote Cloud. This way, you have a regular source of information about your beacons' health and can be notified about any issues. At the same time, a lot of sensor data can supersize many use cases. Telemetry lets you know when beacons are in motion or when the light gets switched on, and allows you to keep track of room temperature in real time. All this data can then be sent to the Cloud with Estimote LTE Beacon.