Guide to Beacons and Industrial IoT: Zero to Connected in One Read

22 September 2016

What is Industrial IoT and can we afford to ignore it? This is your guide to the history, current state, and needs of connected infrastructures.
Whether it’s your smart phone or your dog’s wearable, connectivity is taking over. By 2020, more than 250 Things will be connected to the internet every second. That means not only cool new gadgets but incredible opportunities for enterprise and industry.

Industrial IoT Needs Medium-Range

Nearly everyone uses GPS for tracking assets (or themselves) outside; RFID is commonly used for simple tracking on a small scale. But what about everything in between? Medium-range technologies that work up to the 100 meter range are needed to make them jump from indoor and outdoor tracking to total tracking.
Industrial IoT can only work if the system is seamless and automated. If you’ve been hearing about Bluetooth and BLE lately, and wondering why everyone is getting so excited, this is why:
Bluetooth will be the basis for Industrial IoT infrastructure.
Bluetooth was first introduced in the 1990s. In recent years, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) has grown and taken over. It is a powerful, energy-efficient protocol for communicating over short distances. Now, startups are building solutions with it. Companies are using it for total infrastructures. In short, it is becoming the defining standard for the IoT Revolution.

There are other medium-range standards, including:

  • WiFi
  • Ultra-wideband
  • Zigbee

All of these are great tools, but none of them offer the affordability and capability of Bluetooth.

Why does Industrial IoT need beacons?

Bluetooth is having a curious effect on technology: it’s empowering beacons. As BLE becomes increasingly more common as an infrastructure standard, and upcoming versions like Bluetooth 5 extend capabilities, beacons will grow even more practical.
In fact, it is already happening. Most importantly, it is happening across verticals and in unexpected fields. Beacon companies are branching out into more specialized areas, creating more industry-specific and user-friendly solutions. It’s not just hardware. It’s software. It’s apps and infrastructures.
Industrial IoT can sound a little overhyped. It’s a great buzzword like Big Data or the ominous Internet of Everything. But companies are going to be faced with a big truth:
Future business is connected.
It is seamless and, in part, automated. Businesses must open themselves up to new technology. They don’t have to connect every asset to the cloud or start building up data silos right this second. But they must look to the future.

Consider this your beacon textbook

How can a company even begin to fully take advantage of such rapidly developing and unprecedented technology? The Internet of Things may be a powerful tool, but wielding it will require expertise. That’s why we’re here with our big, juicy industry report to get you up to speed.
Industrial IoT is going to bring huge, fabulous opportunities to business large and small. We think everyone should have access to basic knowledge on it and be up-to-date on how it can work for them.
Our report will give you the basics and address troublesome questions you may not get the chance to ask. Questions like:

  • What’s Bluetooth and why does everyone care?
  • What’s the difference between Zigbee, WiFi, and UWB?
  • How do beacons work?
  • What does the beacon market look like?
  • How are Eddystone and iBeacon different?

Download the industry 4.0 report
If Bluetooth 5 turns out to be half as powerful as industry insiders expect, businesses would do well to read up.
Learn more about Industrial IoT here!

“If you are not yet ready for Bluetooth 5, you are already too late.”
Kontakt.io founder and CEO, Szymon Niemczura.

Hannah Augur

Content writer / tech blogger / geek based in Berlin. Hannah reports on all things tech and has a medium-sized tolerance for buzzwords.

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    [Updated for 2020]
    [Updated for 2020]