The Unfulfilled Promise of iBeacons

Beacon Tradeoff.png

Low capital cost, low operational cost, high location accuracy. With beacon-based indoor location, you get to pick only 2.

We present this graphic in some of our pitches to potential customers who are considering building an indoor location experience based on a beacon infrastructure. It's useful, as it quickly communicates the idea that our BrickTrackers eliminate the need to compromise when deploying an indoor location system.

To deliver highly accurate position information using beacons, a system must either blanket a space every 5-7 feet with a beacon or crank up the broadcast power and frequency of the transmitter in the devices to accommodate lower density deployments.

With the former approach (high deployment density), medium-large sized spaces are looking at deploying and managing thousands of individual beacons. At a cost of $20-$30 per device, this up front capital expense can grow very quickly. And it is in addition to the time and expense of mapping the indoor space and the custom development associated with all beacon deployments.

With the latter approach (increased broadcasting power), the lifetime of the battery-powered devices drops from the manufacturer's claims of up to 3 years to as low as 26 days! In a large deployment, this can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in operational costs just to manage a beacon battery replacement program!

The only remaining choice to manage both capital and operational expenses when deploying beacon-based systems for indoor location is to compromise on positioning accuracy and precision, which results in a poor end user experience and ultimately delivers lower return on investment to the business.

With BrickTracker, our goal is deliver a new choice to the indoor location market that eliminates the upfront time, effort and cost associated with deploying indoor location and significantly reduces the ongoing operational costs without compromising the fundamental promise of indoor location - delivering reliable and accurate location information.