Beyond the Beacon: BLE Just got Reel

In this video we demonstrate how mobile devices can advertise their presence to reelyActive infrastructure using Bluetooth Low Energy technology. For a full description, read our initial and follow-up blog posts: and learn more about our technology:

Note that the scale used in this demonstration is simply to facilitate the presentation. BLE devices have a typical indoor radio range of tens of metres.


Britain’s Gatwick Airport presently has 2,000 beacons for indoor navigation

Intricate indoor environments for example, air-ports and shopping centers generally is a nightmare to find your way around. And while Google is hunting phones with 3D sensors as one prospective fix for places GPS won’t correctly reach, another approach is to kit out an interior with many Bluetooth beacons – giving smart phone users located-locked pings to fix onto to discover where they are.

The UK’s 2nd busiest airport, Gatwick airport, has selected the second method to power an indoor navigation system it’s launching as part of a wider, multi-year transformation program.

It’s finally completed providing its two terminals with roughly 2 Thousand battery-powered beacons to make sure digital map users will get a more exact blue dot as they walk around. The beacon system will also be utilized to power an augmented reality wayfinding tool – to ensure that mobile users will be able to be guided to a particular locations within the terminals thru on-screen arrows. The beacon system is slated as backing up positioning with +/-3m precision.

Gatwick is about to integrate indoor positioning into some of its mobile apps, and says it’s in discussions with airlines to make use of it for their own mobile apps and services – giving example of them having the capability to send push notifications to advise travelers if they’re running late, or even make a decision on whether or not to wait or offload luggage so an aircraft can take off on time.

Stores and other third parties will also be able to use the system for proximity detection of potential shoppers and delivery promotion messages – at a minimum to those who’ve opted in to receive them.

Gatwick says it certainly won’t be accumulating any private information via the beacons but says “generic information on ‘people densities’ in different beacon zones” will be utilized to help improve airport operations – like queue measurement, streamlining passenger flows and eliminating traffic jam.

The airport has worked with UK start-up Pointr on the system. As well as developing software and managing the system on an ongoing basis, Pointr provides an SDK with support for 3D AR wayfinding make it possible for third parties to access the functionality.

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