The term "beacon" is used in FDDI, token ring networks, RFID, ZigBee, Bluetooth and satellite transmission and means beacon, also known as radio beacon or radio beacon. In the context of the aforementioned terms, beacon stands for mini transmitter with low transmission power. The technology is used, among other things, for locating and tracking products and offers in stores.
In RFID, a beacon is a programmed RFID tag that activates itself after a specified time interval and transmits its information.
In ZigBee, a beacon is a transmission mode. A distinction is made between beacon networks and non-beacon networks. In beacon networks, the network coordinator (PAN) sends a beacon at regular time intervals, through which the nodes are synchronized and identified and send data on a regular basis. Non-beacon networks, on the other hand, transmit only on demand.
Beacon technology is also used in Bluetooth 5. It is a transmitter and a receiver with which the location of prospective customers in shops, their purchase and payment is supported. Beacon technology belongs to near-field communication, which is based on low-power Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). This offer technology is called proximity marketing. Customers can locate products and offers with prices in stores, add them to their shopping carts, and have the cost of the goods wirelessly debited from their accounts when they leave the store. Beacon stores are equipped with multiple BLE radio transmitters and use them to record the position at which the customer is currently located.
- In addition, beacon technology can also be used for locating and tracking people in emergency situations and for location-based services. For example, this technology is used in satellite-based search and rescue services for persons and vessels in distress. Such search and rescue services are supported by dedicated satellites: LEOSAR and GEOSAR. In addition, navigation systems such as Galileo provide dedicated search and rescue services.