BENEFITTING FROM BEACON TECHNOLOGY
For security professionals searching for ways to better manage guards working in the field, Bluetooth beacons can offer a number of benefits. Beacons are wireless transmitters that communicate with other smart devices through Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, a power-friendly version of Bluetooth wireless tech.
Bluetooth beacons constantly send out radio signals to nearby smartphones and tablets, and their signals contain a small amount of data. Mobile apps are able to listen to those signals. Once an app hears a relevant signal, it can trigger an action on your phone – pinpointing a location, tracking movements and triggering location-based notifications.
Over the past decade, beacon technology has gained a large amount of traction with major companies incorporating beacons for smartphones, tablets, laptops, medical devices and home entertainment products. Less than a decade ago in 2016, the market for beacon technology was valued at $519.6 million. At this rate, it is expected to reach $56.6 billion in 2026.
Security professionals seeking low-cost solutions offering real-time asset tracking and proof of service to customers can utilize beacons as a reliable choice. When combined with an integrated workforce management system, Bluetooth beacons can add additional real-time data, insights or analytics that can be accessed and reported on.
Beacon technology and the security industry
Part of the reason the beacons work so well for the security industry is the fact that they offer location-tracking technology. Beacons consistently provide exact details on where a mobile device is located, whether it’s outdoors or indoors, unlike GPS signals that fail to communicate with satellites inside some buildings.
Beacons also require little assembly, maintenance or power requirements. Within a few minutes of installation, they can stay operational for years or at least until a battery needs to be replaced. Although different variations of Bluetooth beacons perform the same location tracking and data transmission-related tasks, their size, shape and price may vary.
Cost varies, but professionals should expect to spend as much as $50 on a reliable Bluetooth beacon. Despite aesthetic variations, beacons generally use coin cell or AA battery types, and battery life will vary depending on different factors, most notably the power source, settings and how often the beacon is used.
Because beacons are compatible with common smartphones, specifically iOS and Android devices, and due to the commonality of Bluetooth technology, there should be built-in features on nearly every smartphone to minimize installation or maintenance concerns.
Lighthouse and Bluetooth beacon software
Once a beacon system is in place, integrations can push the technology forward. For example, TEAM Software by WorkWave offers Lighthouse, which integrates with Bluetooth beacon technology and offers a usable app that ensures guards are properly monitored, while also offering communication features in the event of a high-risk incident.
A security company that was contracted to provide dedicated services to a large golf facility implemented Lighthouse to help record patrols, manage tasks, report issues, complete inspections and communicate with managers.
After setting up a network of 24 beacons throughout the golf course and club, they achieved better visibility throughout the facility, greater compliance with security patrols and were able to respond faster to security issues. They also eliminated paper-based data capture and moved to centralized reporting.
Lighthouse helps managers ensure that workers are performing their duties. But it also aids in providing ongoing reports, which could help document risk management compliance, defend against claims and expose areas where efficiencies can be gained.
To continue learning about Lighthouse and the uses of beacon technology, take advantage of the following eBook: The Beginner’s Guide to Beacons. This guide was designed to share valuable information on beacon technology and depict how beacons can offer real benefits to a business. Case studies are included in this eBook to offer details on how specific security companies better managed their workforce and reduced operation costs.
Stephanie is a passionate product manager with a demonstrated history of working in various roles in the software industry, who loves building and using products that add significant value to people’s day-to-day lives and businesses.