Chances are, you’ve heard about our vision at Beco: simple, high resolution spatial data using existing infrastructure. You might be familiar with some of the applications for this data – from next-generation grocery stores to workplace analytics to fun platform integrations . These ideas and projects are what our passionate team and our forward-thinking clients are excited about day in and day out, and they’re what make it out into the press.
It’s sometimes easy to forget that it all comes back to a little device: the Beco Beacon. Our goal in designing the technology was to make it inexpensive, reliable, and simple to use… Which means that if we did our job right, it is an understated yet very sophisticated piece of hardware. We thought we should give the Beco Beacon (and our hardware engineering team) credit where credit is due. Here is an introduction to the device, inside and out:
First of all, size. The unit is only 2″ by 1.25″ by .5″ (or for the metric folks, 50 x 30 x 13 mm) – think a small box of matches.
The core idea of the Beco Beacon is its battery free design: a solar cell provides power, and is optimized for high efficiency with indoor lighting systems. The power converters are digitally controlled for maximum efficiency, and excess energy is stored onboard each beacon. That means they are still active when the lights are off!
The reason that our Beco Beacon can be so small and efficient is that it communicates with nearby mobile phones, and uses them as the relay to push data online. That means stable transmissions (monitored and dynamically regulated by a tiny processor) without any kind of IT integration – more on that below.
The Beco system can be installed quickly, without hiring experts, IT professionals or contractors. Long-term operation is low-cost and doesn’t require any tech integration or wifi network bandwidth. The custom, single-purpose design for the beacon uses small and efficient parts. Our proprietary supply chain is geared for high-volume production in an advanced assembly factory.
Our engineers made sure to design out any age-sensitive components, and coated circuit boards for long-term stability. Individual parts are even shielded to reduce any possibility of damage from nearby electric radiation.
In short, the Beco team is pretty proud of this achievement. Our initial goals of simplicity, cost and sophistication have been met in the beacon we’re shipping today. And this is a unique innovation, recognized by the US Patent & Trademark Office: as of this year, the Beco Beacon and its integrated Cloud Service are a patented system.
We are excited to continue developing the beacon, the system and its applications. Ultimately, we aim to transform space analysis and operations for the next generation of the built environment.