Estimote adds NFC to BLE Proximity Beacons

PROGRAMMABLE: Estimote’s new range of BLE beacons incorporates NFC technology

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon manufacturer Estimote has added programmable NFC into its new range of Proximity Beacons to make it easier to identify and configure the devices and to enable a range of consumer experiences such as confirming payment, collecting loyalty points and clocking in.

“NFC in the new Proximity Beacons is fully programmable — set up as many of your own NDEF records as you like, up to 256 bytes total, all through our secure configuration API,” the company writes in a blog post. “Together with the Estimote fleet management API, you could even re-configure these records remotely.

“Thanks to Android’s built-in NFC support, the new beacons open up another channel for app distribution. Just program the NFC with your Android app’s unique identifier and then touching a smartphone to that beacon will open your app’s page in Google Play Store. Or, with Instant Apps coming to the next version of Android, it could run your app without installation.”


“Estimote Android app already supports Proximity Beacon’s NFC,” Estimote continues. “It’s now easier to identify and configure beacons — just tap one with your smartphone and the Estimote app will automatically open and connect to it.

“Developers building beacon-enabled apps are often balancing between responsiveness and battery life. With the new Proximity Beacons, there’s no need to compromise. We’ve tripled their default responsiveness and the default battery life is still more than two years. If you want to prioritize your beacons’ lifetime instead, the new beacons can last as long as seven years.”

The new Proximity Beacons will retail at US$59 for a three-beacon development kit and are now available for pre-order, with shipping expected later this month.

“We’ve been hearing a lot of great ideas for projects that require explicit interactions with beacons — confirming payments, collecting loyalty points, clocking-in etc,” the company adds. “The new Proximity Beacon comes with a built-in NFC tag, making these ideas much easier to implement.”

Next: Visit the NFCW Expo to find new suppliers and solutions