‘Nearables’ are a frugal three millimeter-thick, with slightly shorter battery life and newer components encased in a flexible body, with an adhesive back; all with the purpose to keep it out of sight.
The nearables are small wireless devices that broadcast radio signals at regular bursts which can be received by smartphones and tablets in the vicinity. When custom Mobile apps receive the signal, they trigger a location-based action in the app. For instance, when using the app LaunchHere, moving towards your coffee maker is all that’s required to brew a perfect cappuccino; sit on your sofa, and your TV will turn itself on without you moving a finger.
Estimote Co-founder and Senior VP Steve Cheney explains, “Beacons are a little bit like URLs for the physical world. We don’t know exactly how it’s all going to work out, from the experience level, but I think the apps you use the most will start to integrate beacon technology in a way where you assume it was always that way.”
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Released last year, Estimote’s device is equipped with an accelerometer to track motion, a temperature sensor, security authentication, and a Bluetooth LE(Low Energy) transmitter with a range of about 70 meters. The BLE works with both iOS and Android. The slimmer stickers last for about a year while the larger polygons for about two.
Estimote’s Bluetooth Beacon device is “designed to replace things like signs and information placards” by broadcasting information to user smartphones. In commerce, your favourite shops, museums and restaurants can keep track of visitors and provide intuitive location-based services.
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(Image credit: Estimote)