What is EXBeacon
Our EXBeacon is the next generation beacon with mesh network features. Unlike the conventional beacons which transmit radio signals independently, it has a feature to intercommunicate with neighbouring EXBeacons. They are inexpensive devices which can form a network. This does not only facilitate device management, but it also dramatically expands the network usage, including the sensor network. This is why it is regarded as the basic(the gateway to) technology for IoT.
The lower layer is conforms with BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy / Bluetooth 4.0 or later) and transmits an advertising packet, and communicates using three channels (channels: 37, 38 and 39 ) in the 2.4 GHz band.
On top of that layer, we use the standard CSRmesh (Qualcomm). CSRmesh is a flood-type mesh, forming a flexible topology and performing mesh communication control.
The upper layer operates with EXBeacon proprietary protocol. This proprietary protocol is a model established through several proof of concept demonstration experiments, including the positioning protocol (Patent pending). There are four communication modes (described later), and it operates in a communication mode suitable for each solution.
EXBeacon has four communication modes as its standard, and the modes can be combined in accordance with the solution for each use case. Flood-mesh has been adopted as the communication method in mesh communication mode.
By the way, the conventional beacon is a device that has “beacon communication mode” only.
Mesh type beacon device using Bluetooth Smart
Function and Design
In addition to the advertising function of the conventional beacon, EXBeacon has a mesh communication functionality which enables it to intercommunicate with neighbouring beacons at the same time. Furthermore, it has various functions optimized for the following IoT solutions.
・Time synchronization function
・Automatic mesh restoration function
・Tandem functionality for additional unit expansion
・External device (BLE) tandem function
・Mesh network data collection function
・Mesh network setup modification function
・Mobile beacon positioning function / others
Module/ Stack Mechanism
For indoor usage, EXBeacon can be stacked by attaching each additional expansion unit to the base unit. The modules can be freely combined according to usage and situation.
BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) beacon is one of Bluetooth Smart (equipment compliant with the BLE standard), devices which transmit ID for identifying each beacon and identifier indicating the received signal strength etc.
iBeacon is one of BLE beacons, it is known as a new feature and new product that Apple also installed in the mobile device OS “iOS 7” in 2013. It uses power saving type 2.4 GHz short range communication and operates continuously for about 1 year with button type batteries, so maintenance is almost unnecessary.
Our EXBeacon is a type of BLE beacon.
Beacon outline and market potential
A Beacon (lighthouse) is a device that emits an identifier such as a unique ID or signal strength. The “EXBeacon,” developed solely by WHERE,
- Not only complies with Bluetooth Smart, a new low-energy transmission protocol, but
- Also comes with mesh networking functionality, which allows Beacons to transmit information to each other, for the first time in Japan
which makes it a revolutionary product. Beacons are gaining attention as an indoor mapping infrastructure similar to GPS outdoors, and as IoT devices.
Technology road map
EXBeacon moves into the 2nd phase from the 1st phase