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Trimble's RFID-enabled CrewSight automates personnel management on construction sites ••• FinnCode brings NFC-enabled added-value to Italian luxury shoes, bags ••• Ams, STMicroelectronics launch secure NFC mobile-payment solution ••• Estimote adds beacon-sharing to its Cloud platform ••• Mayo Clinic, Gentag partner to develop wireless sensors to treat obesity, diabetes.
By Beth Bacheldor

Estimote Adds Beacon-Sharing to Its Cloud Platform

Estimote, a developer of beacons that employ Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)—also known as Bluetooth Smart—technology, has added a new feature to its Estimote Cloud platform: Infrastructure Sharing. With the new Infrastructure Sharing feature, companies can move beyond using their beacons with their own apps and open up the network to third-party apps.

According to the company, an airport could, for example, deploy a network of Estimote beacons within its main hall and departures area. With Infrastructure Sharing, the airport could authorize an airline's app to access beacons within the vicinity of Gate 1, and another airline's app to access beacons at a different gate. Passengers using an app of the airline with which they're traveling will be notified when their gate opens, and then be guided to the proper place.

Infrastructure Sharing is designed to open up new revenue channels for brick-and-mortar businesses deploying Bluetooth beacons, the company reports, by letting them create a beacon network that select third-party apps can securely access. According to Estimote, the feature will create another layer of opportunities for microlocation, indoor navigation or proximity marketing, while making it possible to monetize physical space.

Estimote beacons and stickers are tiny proximity computers that have an ARM processor and memory, and utilize Bluetooth Smart technology to transmit unique ID numbers that trigger actions on smartphones or other BLE-enabled devices. Powered by coin batteries, they can be strategically placed virtually anywhere within a building or on the outside grounds. Through the tiny radio signals broadcasted by the beacons, smart devices within range can receive those signals, and compatible installed apps can then respond. Estimote's software developer's kit (SDK) and Cloud platform are used to grant the apps access to the metadata, including beacon ownership, object type and precise location. They also enable security and other services on top of the beacons.

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