Introducing the new Estimote LTE Beacon


#1

Hey everyone!

As most of you probably know, this week we launched a brand new device — the Estimote LTE Beacon. This is big for us, and we expect it to have a massive impact on the whole industry.

Here are some of its key features:

The new beacon combines LTE, GPS, and BLE. This means you can use it to switch between indoor and outdoor tracking, as well as for many other applications.

The beacon is programmable using our new cloud-based JavaScript IDE — you’ll be able to push standalone apps onto it, without the need for a smartphone. And since the beacons have LTE connectivity, you won’t even have to access them physically to do that.

Finally, LTE beacons can serve as gateways to the rest of your beacon fleet.

To get a better understanding of the device, what it can do, and what kind of use cases we had in mind when designing it, have a read through our post over at our community blog.

We look forward to working closely with you guys, and I personally can’t wait to hear about the first projects and use cases you’re going to come up with in the coming months. Our principal job here at the forums is to answer your questions and provide expertise, but we’d also love to see you guys post about your ideas and suggestions, as well as share your projects with the rest of the community.

Happy tinkering!


#2

Hi,

Just wanted to check about LTE Beacons as will they work in India as far as GPS is concerned? We would be looking for a deployment in Delhi for now.

We are building a solution for visitor tracking in a manufacturing plan and would like to use LTE Beacons with Beacons. System will hand over a card to Visitor as they arrive and then when they are in premises, we track them.

Also, can LTE Beacon find other beacons or BT devices around it apart from Estimote Beacons

Thanks

Sat


#3

Hi Sat,

Yes, the beacons will work in India, across areas that have LTE coverage. When out of LTE range (e.g. during shipment across the Atlantic), GPS will still work, and you will be able to cache location data collected via GPS until LTE becomes available again and Cloud connectivity is restored.

As for your other question — yes, since the beacon is programmable, in principle it will be possible with a microapp.

What kinds of other devices do you have in mind?


#4

Thanks for sharing this. Since this is combining BLE with GPS and LTE - are the existing products (proximity, mirror, location) are going to be end of life?
Also, this has been discussed by Vehicle manufacturers where they make the vehicle to be an unique ibeacon (with an GPS, LTE, vehicle telematics etc.,), what are the other primary Use Cases you have tried so far?

For those who are new to this product, can also get a good video from Jakub K (CEO) @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq7j4TcJHuQ

Thanks


#5

Hi Nantha,

Thanks for tuning in.

Actually, the new LTE Beacon is meant to be used both as a standalone product, as well as alongside our other devices, e.g. as a gateway for fleet management or as part of Indoor Location systems (consider the scenario we discuss in our latest blog post, where positions of assets ‘tagged’ with LTE Beacons are tracked with the help of Proximity or Location, but while in transit, their movements are monitored using GPS and uploaded via LTE.
There’s a whole lot of potential for synergy here, but there are also tons of use cases which don’t depend on LTE connectivity, so it wouldn’t make sense for us to let go of the other beacons.

At the moment, the applications we’re most excited about are those combining indoor & outdoor asset tracking, so freight and production, since they are the kind of projects where the new beacon has the potential to make a really huge difference. Besides that, our beacons have been used as panic-buttons by hotel chains, and I expect LTE connectivity will only make this a more popular use case. We’re also working with some insurance companies on creating automated emergency calls, which involves car crash detection using telemetry.

As with our previous products, we expect the range of use cases to go beyond our expectations, and I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of demand for custom solutions based on our new tech, too.

Hey, and thanks a bunch for linking the interview!


#6

Hi,

As you say LTE Beacons may be used for outdoors asset tracking what is permissible operating temperature and humidity? Are Beacons water-proof?

Greetings


#7

Hi skuzniarz,

Thanks for the question!

The enclosure is water resistant (IP67), and the recommended humidity is 20% to 80%, while the recommended temperature range is 0°C to 60°C (32°F to 140°F).


#8

Thanks for the reply.

It seems the tracking scenario is realistic in California but not in Poland (last winter lowest temperature in my city was below -20°C) :slight_smile: I guess the most vulnerable to extreme temperatures is the battery. Is it user-replaceable?


#9

I guess the most vulnerable to extreme temperatures is the battery.

That’s correct. The beacons should still work in temperatures under 0°C, although the battery efficiency will tend to decrease.

Is it user-replaceable?

In principle, yes. You will be able to open the new LTE beacons in the same way as you do with Proximity & Location. The batteries are rechargeable though, so normally there shoul be no need for that. Should you want to, you will also be able to keep the LTE Beacon connected to an outside energy source, using USB-C.


#10

Thanks Timo,

For devices, I mean Beacons from other manufacturers.

We are exploring options for comprehensive asset management and tracking using this LTE. Also will this support GSM?

Thanks

Sat


#11

Sat,

No, the new beacon will not support GSM. As for detecting other beacons — yes, in principle that will be possible, although in practice, that might also depend on the restrictions inherent in the other devices.