The Card Beacon – Thin Is In
The Card Beacon is one four new products introduced by Kontakt.io for the next generation of proximity solutions and while we’re excited about all of them, it deserves a special look.
When you look at it, though, make sure it’s not turned sideways or you might not even see it. The result of an incredible feat of engineering and design, the Card Beacon is just two millimeters thick. It’s the same size as a standard credit card, just slightly thicker, and can comfortably fit in a wallet.
This super-slim profile opens a world of possibilities and proximity-based applications but before we get to that, let’s talk about what the Card Beacon does.
Everything that “regular” beacons do…
The Card Beacon definitely looks different, but it’s still a fully-functioning beacon. It offers the same features and functionalities found in full-size beacons packed into a much smaller form factor. It’s almost invisible when mounted as a conventional beacon but fills the same role.
If your firmware is up to date you can use them in exactly the same ways you use current generation beacons and with your existing apps. You can add Card Beacons to your existing infrastructure or update your current beacon fleet with Card Beacons without the need to rewrite your application or install new software. Asset tracking? Check. User experiences based on proximity? Check. Employee management? Customer movements? Venue management? Check, check and check.
The form is different but the function is the same – sending out a signal to the world that says “Here I am!”
The only way that the Card Beacon differs from our other beacons in terms of performance is in its battery life, which is eight months at default settings. Still, there are two ways to extend it further. The Card Beacon comes with a motion sensor that reduces power consumption after a short period of inactivity. If it’s attached to something that moves—we’ll get to that in a second—it starts to broadcast less frequently when that movement stops. On top of that, Card Beacon features a small on-off switch that lets you completely conserve battery power whenever you want.
This trade-off between battery life and portability is something that can be worth it depending on your use case. The Card Beacon was designed for those who can sacrifice a bit of battery life for the ability to put a beacon almost anywhere and let it move.
…plus a lot of things they can’t do.
But it’s the “card” part of Card Beacon that is completely new and this is where its form expands its functions. The super-compact profile of the Card Beacon means that it can literally go where no beacon has gone before.
Think about all the contexts where we already use cards, then add the power of beacons and you’ll start to see the amazing possibilities that Card Beacon represents. Employee ID cards now do things they could never do before like control access and track movement. Customer loyalty cards now supply information about movements within a store. Visitor ID’s in places like hospitals and large offices now tell you where that person is. Event attendees can show you which points of interest are the most popular (or which rooms are too crowded at a given time). Even the smallest assets can have a beacon tracker easily attached to them. The list goes on.
Let’s talk tech
For such a small package, the Card Beacon packs a big tech punch. First of all, it has rock-solid encryption security and ID shuffling to protect against all threats. It also comes with a built-in RFID tag and an option for an NFC tag for more proximity functionality.
As with all Kontakt.io devices, Card Beacon can broadcast in both iBeacon and Eddystone formats so there’s no longer any need to choose between one or the other.
So how can a beacon that fits in your wallet fit into your workspace? The first Card Beacons are getting ready for shipment now so contact us to find out more about what a difference two millimeters can make to your business.