Five years ago, we launched Beacon. After we shipped 500,000+ devices and received great feedback, we know that Beacon is a great product. However, customer expectations and the technological landscape aren’t the same as they used to be in 2013. So after hearing about your current needs and exploring new tech opportunities, we decided our Beacon needs an upgrade. Today, we’re excited to announce SB18-3, the successor to our flagship and award-winning Beacon.
Just like Beacon, SB18-3 is designed for stationary deployments, where beacons are attached to walls or still objects. We know that the most important factor you take into consideration when selecting hardware for such deployments is how future-proof the hardware is, and the battery life is a huge part of that.
That’s why SB18-3 runs for up to 7 years, thanks to its two Lithium Manganese Dioxide batteries, lean firmware, and the latest Nordic chipset. The batteries are replaceable, just like in its predecessor. To be fully future-proof, however, the device needs more than just long battery life. It also needs to be powered by future-proof technology, and this is another reason we’ve chosen the newest Nordic nRF52 as the SB18-3 chipset, making it Bluetooth 5 compatible.
The nature of stationary deployments is changing. On one hand, in “traditional” use cases like location-based content or indoor wayfinding, especially in healthcare and public spaces, we’re observing the increasing need to also use BLE beacons for condition monitoring. On the other hand, there’s a new emerging category of stationary use cases, where beacons are being implemented in hospitals, warehouses, or manufacturing facilities solely for the purpose of monitoring environmental conditions.
To meet these expectations, we’ve equipped the SB18-3 with a temperature sensor. It enables you to monitor and record temperature changes to check them in real time, access historic data, or trigger alerts when a facility requires your attention.
Additionally, the SB18-3 comes with an accelerometer and real-time clock. The accelerometer helps collect data when a beacon is on the move, so you’ll know when it has fallen down, changed its orientation, or is being stolen. These insights help you act fast to maintain your infrastructure integrity. Alternatively, you use the accelerometer to monitor and analyze usage of moving object—like doors or machines or other items you can screw or stick your beacons to.
The real-time clock enables you to automatically put your beacons to sleep at specific times of day when you don’t need them to run at full speed to save energy—for example at night or when your venue is closed. Using this power saving function, you can significantly extend the default battery life.
The new SB18-3 is available in our online store, and we start shipping end of July. If you want to be the first to get your hands on it, order now here.