ABI Research has predicted that, by 2020, shipments of Bluetooth low Energy (BLE) beacons will exceed 400 million.
These battery-operated Bluetooth devices are typically used to trigger an event on a mobile device. They can send a notification to a user when they are within the beacon's range.
The challenge with current beacons is being able to reliably locate and manage them.
This problem is compounded when you have hundreds or even thousands deployed in a network.
Vancouver, Canada mobile positioning technology company Rx Networks has launched its new IoT device, the Fathom Hub.
Fathom is a proximity management set of tools to deliver intelligence and context integrity to large deployments of Bluetooth proximity devices.
The Fathom Hub, reports on the location and status of all beacons in the coverage area.
Fathom has been designed to expose the Intelligence of Things to large networks of proximity beacon and IoT devices.
It enables you to locate, manage, and monitor Bluetooth beacon deployments and source data for analytics through its dashboard.
If beacons are moved, lost, or if the battery runs low, an alert is triggered. Updates are displayed in the cloud-based Fathom control panel.
Fathom also renders location data, derived from nearby BLE devices, such as wearables and smartphones, to improve customer engagement, resource monitoring and analytics.
The makers say that the Fathom hub is extensible through its data and service Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), enabling custom data analytics and integration with other software applications.
The insights derived from Fathom data could be of interest in several markets where locating assets or understanding customer behaviour is desired.
For example, hospitals can quickly locate essential equipment. Marketing teams can identify popular aisles in retail environments to understand how consumers are interacting with a bricks and mortar store - revealing the 'Intelligence of Things'.
Expensive medical equipment can quickly be located as it is moved around the hospital. No time is wasted searching for it.
In a bus terminal with hundreds of identical vehicles, a mechanic can be directed to 'bus 57' with ease. There are hundreds of potential applications for the technology.
Guylain Roy-MacHabée, President and CEO, Rx Networks, says: "With ten years' experience and a billion mobile devices relying on our core positioning technologies, we understand location.
We are confident Fathom will solve a very real and very painful problem for a lot of companies deploying beacons: ease of operation and location-context integrity.
These are the very same challenges facing the IoT industry at large, albeit potentially dealing with billions rather than millions of devices."