After determining the type of experience you’re looking to deliver to your visitors, here comes the next part of the “beacon“ equation: where and how to install the beacons?
There are many types of beacons on the market today and they come in different shapes, sizes, and sources of power. And, like a fine wine, the experience of using beacons is getting better with time!
Many beacons are about the size of an Oreo cookie (yum!) or a stack of playing cards, and are usually powered by battery. Of that specific variety, we most commonly work with Estimote, Kontakt, and Aruba beacons, who all have proven track records for their products, customer support, and reliability.
Estimote beacons come with an adhesive backing, but for most beacons, we recommend using double-sided tape if you prefer to move and re-install your beacons from time to time.
Note: There are also beacons which can be plugged into power outlets, attached to your WiFi access points, or installed in existing lighting units. But, we’ll save those for another time as they require a different level of effort to install and infrastructure requirements.
It may depend on the type of beacon you’re using, but in many cases (not all, but certainly when using Estimote beacons), we recommend mounting beacons to the wall at eye-level and configuring the beacon to trigger notifications when visitors approach any point within the 10-15 foot range, if dealing with single objects or points-of-interest. We’ve found it to be a reasonable starting point, but remember, you may need to adjust the settings to get it just right.
Note: Always check the beacon manufacturer’s manual and documentation as there are different recommendations for different beacon models, environments, and use cases!
- Best practices for installing Estimote Beacons (Estimote)
- A Quick-Start Guide to Beacon Installation and Maintenance (Kontakt)
- Best practices in deploying and managing Aruba Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacons (Aruba)
There are several important physical and environmental factors to consider as well. The physical layout of the room, human traffic, interference with other objects, signal range, and temperature changes are all elements to take in account when determining the most strategic position for each beacon.
Yet, do not fear the installation process… embrace it! Beacons are fairly easy to setup and install. Whether you’re an educator, curator, or even a volunteer, you can approach the process with more confidence after reading this post. And, if you need our help, as always, we’re here for you.
Interested in implementing beacons into your museum or just need a hand? Reach out to your friends, the beacon wranglers, at Cuseum.