I want to 'navigate' the user through a room with iBeacons. Are beacons unsuitable for this intenion?


i have 3 iBeacons laying across the room. What I want to do, is, to get the exact position of the user by orienting on the beacons. I already read in several stackoverflow threads[1][2], that the results were disappointing and the range displayed by the beacon can switch by multiple meters. I also tested it out with the Estimote Android SDK and the examples contained in that git.

I also experienced the same problems other users discussed. The displayed range varies often and is not consistend. It switches from 1 to 7 meters even though I'm about 10 meters away from the next ibeacon.

However my application should be used to route a user to a specific point in a room that can be 30 meters long and 5 meters width. So the range shouldn't vary more than one metre.

When I place my phone exactly next to the beacons and don't move neither the beacons nor the phone, I can get an exact location. However, as pointed out before, for my intention I want to navigate the user to that iBeacon, so if it's only accurate, when laying next to each other, the intention loses it's purpose, since, the user would then be able, to simply walk to the beacon since he's already there.

So my final question is: Are the iBeacons intended to work in the scope I defined? Or are they more like in your videos (Kind of a POI when a user walks nearby (1m range) displays important information ).

[1] - http://stackoverflow.com/questions/20332856/triangulate-example-for-ibeacons
[2] - http://stackoverflow.com/questions/20983734/tools-to-determine-exact-location-when-using-ibeacons

Hello Theo!

Thanks a lot for your insights on this.

There were already a few attempts of using iBeacon technology in indoor navigation, however it turns out the technology is not yet accurate enough to enable the right experience. We're doing however our own research in this field and we will publish the results soon.

As for now read more about the beacons used for indoor positioning here:

And here is an a example of another project dealing with indoor mapping:

Let me know, if you have any other questions.