If you use Estimote’s location beacons, then you’re about to get a major new feature with the addition of low-energy mesh networking. Mesh networking is being added today by way of software update, and once that update has been applied, your beacons will be able to pass data between one another. Among other things, this means that you can now have beacons in more remote locations, as they no longer need to rely on a strong WiFi signal to work.
Furthermore, the mesh network your beacons create can be used by your smartphone and tablet apps. If you’re worried that such a feature might drain the batteries in your beacons faster, you don’t have much to fear in that regard either. Estimote says that beacons will still stay up and running for several years on a single charge, so implementing a mesh network shouldn’t cut battery life too much.
Estimote gives its mesh network a range of 200 meters, and notes that the network will remain active 24/7. This is in contrast, Estimote points out, to other low-energy mesh networking solutions, which can increase latency or make the network inactive at certain intervals throughout the day.
Just as well, this means that your beacons can update without the need for a central hub or smartphone, which seems like a handy feature. Since Estimote’s mesh networking is built-on low-energy Bluetooth, that lends it compatibility with any modern smartphone app, and the beacons’ general purpose input/output ports mean that you can use the mesh network to access third-party devices.
All in all, this is a pretty significant update for Estimote’s location beacons. The update should start appearing over the air for Estimote Long-Range Location Beacons today. For more information on how to get your mesh network up and running, Estimote has put together a step-by-step guide over on its website.