Estimote, maker of hardware beacon devices and a platform for managing software that uses beacon connections, such as Apple’s iBeacon system, has just launched its Indoor Location features. The Indoor Location system that Estimote provides works with the company’s existing beacons, and its updated iOS app. Setup is simple, Estimote says, and requires simply arranging a minimum of four of its devices in a room to define a space.
The Indoor Location feature uses beacons placed around a room to map a space using a quick orientation process using the app, with directions provided by the software itself. Once you’ve spent a few minutes setting up the relative location positioning, it’ll let you generate a code snippet that you can then inject in other apps to give them indoor location awareness. If you’re setting up a gallery exhibit, for instance, you could incorporate Estimote Indoor Location to give your visitors precise, step-by-step instructions about navigating the various installations as they walk around your space.
Estimote had previously offered proximity-gate functionality, meaning that a beacon could be made aware of your device once it was within range, and start some behavior accordingly, with varied proximity distances available depending on a developer’s needs. What they couldn’t do, was give precise indoor location; proximity was more of an on/off flag, with variable distance, rather than a pinpoint measurement system, which Indoor Location can actually provide.
Of course, aside from offering consumer-facing features like detailed indoor guidance, Estimote’s new features can provide businesses with more granular info about shopper or visitor behavior. Tracking a visitor’s path through an establishment can provide literal path analysis, especially if a business is using other Estimote features to track engagement with certain displays, purchase conversion and more.
Estimote is trying to own the beacon hardware/platform space, and this is another step towards that goal. Launch partners include Cisco and other big name players, so they appear to be doing something right for now.