This time we’re in the Board Room with Matt discussing the NRF51822-BEACON from Nordic Semiconductor. This board includes the NRF51822 BLE + ARM Cortex-M0 CPU device as a part of a “low cost” BLE-based beacon design and we have a look at what’s on the board and what sort of cost we’re talking about (Matt has a theory about why it costs as much as it does…watch the video to hear more!)
London’s Gatwick Airport presently has 2,000 beacons for in-house navigation
Complex in-house environments like air-ports and department shops is often a nightmare to find your way around. Even though Google is hunting phones with 3D sensors as one possible fix for places GPS won’t correctly reach, another approach is to kit out an interior with a number of Bluetooth beacons – giving smart phone users located-locked pings to fix onto to figure out where they’re.
The UK’s 2nd busiest airport, Gatwick, has opted for the second solution to power an indoor navigation system it’s launching as a part of a wider, multi-year transformation program.
It’s now completed providing its two terminals with roughly 2 Thousand battery-powered beacons making sure that digital map users will get a more accurate blue dot as they walk around. The beacon system will also be used to power an augmented reality wayfinding tool – to make certain mobile users can be guided to specific locations inside the terminals via on-screen arrows. The beacon system is planned as backing up positioning with +/-3m precision.
Gatwick is planning to integrate indoor positioning into some of its apps, and says it’s in discussions with airlines to take advantage of it for their own apps and services – giving instance of them being able to send push notifications to warn individuals if they’re running late, or even make a decision on if they should wait or offload luggage so a plane can take off punctually.
Retailers and other third parties will also be able to utilize the system for proximity detection of potential shoppers and push marketing and advertising messages – as a minimum to those who have signed up to receive them.
Gatwick says it certainly won’t be obtaining any personal information using the beacons but says “generic information on ‘people densities’ in different beacon zones” will be employed to assist in improving airport operations – including queue measurement, streamlining passenger flows and reducing traffic jam.
The airport has worked with UK startup Pointr on the system. As well as developing software and managing the system on an ongoing basis, Pointr offers an SDK with support for 3D AR wayfinding to enable third parties to access the functionality.