Where to place beacons for the best coverage

Setting up your workplace with beacons for the first time? Here’s how to get the best results from Robin with beacon placement for floor plans of all kinds.

Offices, like humans, come in many shapes and sizes. When rooms are oddly shaped or close together, Robin can sometimes think you’re in the wrong room and spontaneously teleport you through walls.

What does success look like with beacons?

To start, we recommend treating beacons as a way to quickly update your mobile app's context based on nearby rooms. Enter a room, open your app, and book the room via your mobile app without having to search for it.

From there, you can continue to experiment with more passive presence detection which may require a bit of trial and error. Different phones have different ways of handling beacon detection, so it's important to not start with a goal of "The instant I walk through the door, the room should detect me" -- that will take a bit more trials and not always be possible for older phones.

Square room, round signal

Beacons broadcast radially. If you’re interested in the exact physics behind this, Estimote has a great write up.


Source: MIT

Unless you work in a lighthouse, your space is probably not perfectly round. This means that as you’re setting up a space with beacons, you’ll need to thing about beacon placement in terms of overlapping circles.

Setting room sizes

When you set up a space in Robin, enter it's approximate size. Our mobile apps use this size to calculate which room you’re closest to by listening for beacons within that range. You can always update the size later from the Settings tab on the space details page. 

Single Beacon

Most of you have one beacon per space. Place the beacon in the center of the room. People running the mobile app will show up in range of the beacon when they're within the set radius. This radius is determined by the room size selected during set up. 

Double Beacon

What happens if you use more than one? You can add more beacons to a space from the Dashboard, under its “Presence” tab.

Long rectangular rooms are also common. In this case, you can get more accurate coverage by adding a second beacon and lowering the size:

Note:

Currently all of a room’s beacons share the same radius size. If you need to mix sizes, you’re better off making a separate space.

 

Multiple Beacons

There’s no limit to how many beacons you can assign to a single space, meaning you can also get creative with layouts.

Originally published on the Robin Blog

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