Few questions about Location Beacons


I’m a student in retail and I want to develop a platform for retailers where they can track the path a customer walks. I have a few questions about the beacons before I am purchasing a development kit.

  • Do the customers have to run a app before I can track their location, or is just having Bluetooth on sufficient?
  • How many beacons would I need for a store with a approx. size of 1000 m²? Or how many beacons per m²?
  • Do the beacons require a permanent internet connection?

Thanks in advance!

Hey @Eelke, welcome to the forums!

The beacons don’t need an internet connection — they use Bluetooth to transmit data that’s read by a smartphone, and the phone does the heavy lifting. It’s the phone that connects to the internet, as well as process the information that it’s close to a given beacon.

The exact number of beacons would depend on how accurate you want to get. If we assume that you need to know where a person is with an accuracy of ~5 m, you’d need about 150 beacons for this space. If you want to be more precise, and determine a user’s location down to 2 m, you’d need about 800-900 beacons. As you can see, that’s quite a difference, so it’s hard to answer this :slight_smile:

If you want to track a specific path or a heatmap, you would need the customers to run an app. While it’s possible for Android users to use Nearby Notifications (i.e. no app needed) to get some simple interactions based on their being close to a beacon, a more advanced position tracking does require an app on the phone (in this case, you’d need to communicate with our servers, and as I mentioned — the beacons don’t have internet connectivity themselves).

Hope this clears things up!