Estimote, creative builder of apps for the physical world, has launched a new revolutionary Internet of Things (IoT) device called the Estimote LTE Beacon.

The LTE Beacon is a small, wireless beacon that can compute both its precise indoor and outdoor position. It can talk directly to the cloud and last multiple years on a battery.

Estimote LTE Beacons are designed primarily to seamlessly locate assets and vehicles when they move between indoor and outdoor environments. Their secure firmware/cloud software is crafted to provide true ‘proof of location’ and ‘proof of delivery’.Estimote, creative builder of apps for the physical world, has launched a new revolutionary IoT device called the Estimote LTE Beacon.

Since the device is fully programmable using JavaScript, it can also support other creative use-cases. For example, it can act as a remotely managed iBeacon or a gateway used to configure other Bluetooth beacons.

Estimote Bluetooth and LTE Beacon

Estimote Bluetooth and LTE Beacon

Source: Estimote

Smartphone without a screen

The best way to think of this new IoT device is to imagine it as a small smartphone, but without a screen. It can last years between charges and the cost is similar to a beacon. It has cellular LTE connectivity, built-in GPS, and Bluetooth radio. And it is also possible to create and download apps that run on the LTE beacon.

LTE Beacon specification

To create this new device, Estimote have integrated the best Internet of Things components, designing the most robust beacon the industry has ever seen.

This LTE-M device can be attached to an asset, e.g. a jet engine manufactured in a factory. When it moves across the production line, the LTE Beacon scans for Bluetooth beacons installed in the factory and reports its precise indoor location to the cloud. When loaded into a truck, it continues to report its outdoor position using satellite systems. It can also report key telemetry data such as temperature, vibration, and battery status.

When the jet engine arrives at a warehouse, it switches back to beacon-tracking for precise indoor positioning. And finally, when the product gets shipped to the end-customer it can automatically report a secure “proof of delivery” signal.

The above use case is just one example of how the LTE Beacon can be programmed to work. Estimote have designed an entirely new way of adapting the device to support many IoT applications.

Programmable beacon and micro apps

Estimote’s previous generation of beacons had really only one “app” installed – the Estimote embedded firmware. It exposed some of the settings such as range, compatible packets (iBeacon or Eddystone) or other parameters. But it wasn’t possible for customers to upload their own software into the device. The new Estimote LTE Beacon is different. Estimote created a web-IDE in Estimote Cloud where you can programme it using JavaScript. The company has provided APIs for the user: BLE scanning & advertising, sending & receiving data to/from Estimote Cloud, obtaining GPS coordinates, reading from on-device sensors, responding to the button press, etc. When you’re done, Estimote Cloud will compile the code into a “micro-app”, and send the bytecode to the LTE beacon, where it starts being executed.

IoT app templates

Estimote call a pair of these two JavaScript snippets an “IoT Application”, and have prepared a few templates to choose from when adding a new IoT App in Estimote Cloud. With these templates, it will be possible to quickly turn the device into a GPS tracker, a cloud beacon, or a location-aware panic button.

Estimote LTE Beacons in the Dev Kit

Estimote LTE Beacons in the Dev Kit

Source: Estimote