Friday, August 9, 2013

Ambient computing via Estimote beacons

Our smartphones can locate us to within meters enabling all kinds of location based services; except they can't as soon as we enter a building - all those potentially useful services stop as soon as we enter the building that may be able to actually provide us useful stuff. Estimote plans to fix this by creating low cost, low power, Bluetooth beacons  to provide personalized micro-location based notifications and actions when an aware app enters your venue or interacts with your products. Three beacons and the developers kit will retail for just $99. The Estimote Beacon, which the call a 'mote', broadcasts tiny radio signals around itself, like a very small lighthouse. Smartphones that are in range are able to 'hear' these signals and estimate their location very precisely, as well as communicate with the beacon to exchange data and information. This potentially will open up a whole new range of location based services, where most of us actually shop, eat and entertain ourselves - indoors.