Bluetooth Beacon Tracker leverages a set of Bluetooth Low Energy receivers (BLE nodes) that need to be deployed in the area to monitor. The nodes are programmed to detect Bluetooth signals transmitted by nearby Bluetooth Low Energy beacons (BLE devices) and report this information to the Accuware server. To ensure proper communication with the Accuware server the nodes need to connect to Internet using an Ethernet cable or using a 2.4 GHz b/g/n/e/i Wi-Fi network that covers the entire area. Note that the BLE nodes without our technology cannot be used to track and locate BLE devices.
Accuware provides the nodes to be used with Bluetooth Beacon Tracker, which are manufactured by Aprilbrother, Accuware’s technology partner.
We have chosen the Aprilbrother nodes for multiple reasons:
- They are very cheap, reliable and very easy to configure.
- They communicate via Ethernet or using a 2.4 GHz b/g/n/e/i Wi-Fi network.
|Dimensions||7,2 x7,4 x 2,0 cm|
|Weight||75 g (antenna included)|
|Colors||Black or White|
|Operating temperature||-20 C° to +60 C°|
|Power supply||-USB power supply 5V/2000 mA (NOT INCLUDED)
-Power supply cable: USB to micro-USB plug (INCLUDED)
-(OPTIONALLY) POE: 802.3 af (15.4W)
|Ethernet connection||To communicate with the Accuware server (local or cloud) they need to connect to a network. Full-duplex 10-BASE-T/100BASE-TX transceiver and supports 10Mbps (10BASE-T) and 100Mbps (100BASE-TX) operation.|
|(OPTIONAL) Wi-Fi connection||To communicate with the Accuware server (local or cloud) they need to connect to a 2.4 GHz b/g/n/e/i Wi-Fi network|
|(OPTIONAL) Wi-Fi security||no password, WEP-Personal, WPA-Personal , WPA2-Personal, WPA-Enterprise|
|(OPTIONAL) Wi-Fi connection range||50 meters|
|BLE detection range||30 meters|
|Configuration||Smartphone or PC required. It takes about 3 minutes to configure each BLE node|
|Price||Included in the pricing of Accuware Bluetooth Beacon Tracker|
Purchase the BLE nodes
Accuware provides directly the BLE nodes, please fill this form to place your order.
The nodes can be powered using any power source with an output of 5 Volts and at least 2 Ampere (like USB power supplies and portable power banks) or using POE IEEE 802.3 af (15.4W). When purchasing USB power supplies please make sure to choose USB power supplies that meet the electricity standard of the country where the nodes will be installed (otherwise you might damage your nodes or the USB power supplies).
- Power supply cable: USB to micro-USB plug included in the package.
- USB power supply: not included in the package.
Detection radius of the nodes
The detection range depends on the physical location of the node. We have observed an average detection radius of up to 30 meters (in open spaces).
Meaning of the LED lights on the nodes
The LEDs (lights) on the nodes let you know what the device is currently doing. The node has two lights on the back. Here is an overview about the different color states and their meanings.
- Yellow LED: ON when the Ethernet cable is connected to a router/switch
- Green LED: blinking when the BLE node is communicating with the network.
Requirements of the Internet connection used by the BLE nodes
These are the network requirements that MUST be met by the Internet connection:
- Accessible domain: its.accuware.com and navimote2.navizon.com
- Ports (opened outbound): 53/tcp (DNS), 80/tcp (HTTP), 443/tcp (HTTPS), 1883 and 8883.
- Proxies: the BLE nodes can’t works with proxies. If there is a proxy inside the network used by the BLE nodes it is necessary to ask to the IT department the company to add an exception to the proxy to allow the BLE nodes (identified by their MAC addresses) to connect without credentials to the domains and ports listed above.
Behavior of the network interfaces (WiFi VS Ethernet)
Once a WiFi connection is set into the BLE node:
- if only the WiFi connection is available it uses that connection.
- if only an Ethernet connection is available it uses that connection.
- if both the connections are available it prefers the Ethernet connection.
- if a connection was available and is not available anymore it uses as a fallback the other connection.
Bandwidth used by the BLE nodes
The infrastructure of BLE nodes is mostly passive. The amount of traffic generated is very low and proportional to the amount of BLE devices detected in the environment. Each BLE node typically transmits on average about 9 MB/hour (assuming that the BLE node is detecting 30 BLE devices constantly every 3 seconds). It is clear that the traffic produced by the BLE nodes has negligible impact on the bandwidth and on the channel capacity (when using WiFi at 802.11 n speed).
(OPTIONAL) Additional requirements to be met when using the WiFi connection
In order to communicate with the Accuware server, the BLE nodes can use a permanent 2.4 GHz b/g/n/e/i WiFi network that covers entirely the area in which the BLE nodes will be installed. These are the additional network requirements that MUST be met by the permanent 2.4 GHz b/g/n/e/i WiFi network:
- Wi-Fi Security: no password, WEP-Personal, WPA-Personal , WPA2-Personal, WPA-Enterprise
- Wi-Fi frequency: 2.4 GHz
- Wi-Fi standard: b/g/n/e/i
- Wi-Fi bandwidth: 20 MHz
- Wi-Fi splash page/captive portals: there MUST NOT be a splash page/captive portal. If there is a splash page/captive portal then you should ask to the network administrator to add to a white list the MAC addresses of the BLE nodes.
The BLE nodes are able to connect to Wi-Fi access points from up to 50 meters away.
(OPTIONAL) Interference with other Wi-Fi networks
The BLE nodes operate in accordance to the IEEE 802.11 b/g/n/e/i protocol. In particular the BLE nodes:
- do not interfere at all with the 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks because they use only the 2.4 GHz frequencies.
- do not interfere with Wi-Fi networks that use channels that don’t overlap with the channels used by the permanent WiFi network. This means that if an existing Wi-Fi network uses channels from 1 to 6 and the permanent WiFi network is set to work on channel 11, there will be no interference between the 2 networks.
- interfere very little with other networks that share the same 2.4 GHz channel that is used by the permanent WiFi network because the amount of data sent by the BLE nodes to the permanent WiFi network is minimal (as explained in the next paragraph).