Environmental Sensors and Their Uses

Beacons are the perfect Real-Time Location System solution for businesses wanting to incorporate environmental sensing into their system. Bluetooth Low Energy enabled Beacons not only facilitate asset tracking and employee visibility, they allow businesses to automate processes and make smart decisions based on aggregated data.

There are thousands of beacon manufacturers world-wide. Many offer customization features when you order beacons. It’s critical to plan your use-case and deployment before making any purchasing decisions. Once you discover which capabilities would be beneficial for your business, you can plan a solution which incorporates calibrated hardware, software, and custom applications to make the most of gathered data.

Here is a short list of common sensors and their uses:


Accelerometers measure motion or changes in velocity over time. Cell phones, lap-tops, and cars all use accelerometer data to promote safety and protect devices from sudden falls. A laptop which senses its own sudden movement can turn off its hard drive to avoid damage to reading heads and hard drive platters. In industry, these sensors can detect sudden faults in production line and send alerts to personnel through custom applications. They allow you to determine if an object is moving uphill, whether it will topple if it tilts x-degrees, or whether it’s moving horizontally or angling downward

Temperature Sensors

Temperature sensors measure, you guessed it, temperature. These sensors can turn your beacon into a weather station or quality assurance monitor for cold chain production. Hospitals which must keep oncology medication at a certain temperature save millions each year in prevented spoilage. These systems pay for themselves in the first detected malfunction.

Ambient Light Sensors

Ambient light sensors measure any changes in light due to the open doors, switched lights, and people passing between the sensor and a light source. They can act as a security measure to ensure that rooms are not tampered with and to detect the presence of persons within a building after hours. They are also tools for industrial efficiency and can work together with software to dim and brighten electronic displays and monitors according to presets.


Magnetometers refer to individual sensors used for sensing magnetic fields or to systems which measure magnetic field using one or more sensors. In industries, these sensors can measure the magnetization of a magnetic material like a ferromagnet. Their data can also detect sudden failures in equipment which rely in part on magnetization.

Pressure Sensors

Barometric pressure is the force exerted by the atmosphere at a given point against an object. Fluctuations in
barometric pressure are usually a sign of changing weather conditions. Changes in pressure within chambers can alert industries to equipment failures and inform management decisions. In the field of wearables, pressure sensors can detect air turbulence generated by a human body when walking or running as well as between stepping and climbing up and down due to dynamic monitoring of static barometric pressure and also dynamic air pressure. Beacon wearables are already a huge market – with location monitoring one of the largest use cases.

Location Sensors

Location sensors work through tri-lateration between three or more beacons and can also function as part of a mesh network to alert users via an app as to the location of belongings or family members. This sensor is critical in developing applications which require accurate location data such as way-finding and indoor positioning systems. The elderly and children are targets for wearables featuring real-time tracking.

Bluetooth beacons replace countless gadgets in their all-in-one capacity to facilitate Real-Time Location Systems. Make sure you do a full assessment of your businesses needs before implementing an RTLS system. A bit of time now will ensure a blip-free deployment.

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