Edge Relay Introduction
Edge Relay Introduction
In early March of 2017 we released an incredibly innovative product called BlueCats Edge Relay, the response was immediate, and humbling.
Since that time we have been fielding unprecedented interest from companies that want to understand more about how Edge Relay is going to help them better utilise existing Beacon networks, but more excitingly, from companies wanting to build new and innovative products with Bluetooth as the core foundation.
The Origin of Edge Relay
At BlueCats we have been developing world class Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) solutions since 2012, before iBeacon was coined. We know the strength of BLE, especially when it comes to Beacons in proximity and retail environments. However, there were constraints that we’re limiting Beacons true potential – Simply put, the constraints of iOS and Android meant we were playing the game by someone else’s rules. We knew BLE had a lot more to offer, but we needed to move Beacons beyond these limitations… The answer, was Edge Relay.
What is Edge Relay?
Edge Relay is a BLE gateway device that listens for various Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices, such as Beacon, and relays that data back to a destination of your choosing, removing the need for an app/mobile device to act as the listening devices.
Edge Relay free’s up your Beacon deployment so that you can capture, control, and communicate your BLE data with greater flexibility, and significantly less cost.
Edge has all the standard functionality you would expect from an enterprise-grade gateway device; Wifi, PoE, Ethernet, using industry standard protocols; UDP, MQTT and HTTP/S.
What makes BlueCats Edge Relay the smartest BLE gateway in the market.
Noise filtering & Signal smoothing
2.4Ghz is messy, and individual RSSI measurements can vary significantly, making it hard to gather consistent data and calculate distance. BlueCats signal smoothing takes the headache out of sorting through the variance, allowing developers to trust what they’re seeing, and focus on the application outcome
Extensibility & Flexibility
At BlueCats we have spent years, and thousands of man-hours, building, iterating, and improving our web applications, mobile SDKs, APIs and management tools to give you the most flexible and secure architecture of any Bluetooth provider in the market today.
The flexibility of Edge and our Platform allows you to store, manage, and digest your data almost any way you need. With the Edge Relay you have access to every Bluetooth detection and complete control of where that data is transmitted, processed and stored – within a private network or in the cloud.
Leverage our cloud infrastructure, advanced beacon hardware and ecosystem for a complete and integrated solution or choose an architecture that works for you, with limited or no dependence on the BlueCats Cloud. This unlocks potential for projects that require a private deployment or integration with 3rd party beacons or custom components – while still leveraging our investment in creating the best tools for Bluetooth based tracking solutions. The Edge Relay is the foundation to build and release your Bluetooth powered tracking solution faster.
Deployment & Scalability
From the point of unboxing, you can have a single Edge Relay operational and listening within a few minutes. Because Edge is a lightweight product both physically and digitally, and requires minimal power draw, you can literally throw Edge up throughout a desired location and be listening and relaying beacon detections within minutes.
When you start combining…
When you start combining Edge Relay with other BlueCats products, you start to open up some incredibly powerful applications. While Edge can be used in place of a Cell Phone as a listening device, it doesn’t mean you should forget about Cell and SDK integration, quite the contrary. When you combine our SDK, with Beacons and Edge, you are creating a very powerful and agile infrastructure to support and enable a wide array of applications and solutions.
For example, let’s say you want to monitor the condition of assets within a large open expanse, think a mining site. Edge could be deployed everywhere there is a consistent power source, this might cover 50-60% of the site. What about the assets on the perimeter that don’t have power infrastructure close by? That’s when mobile devices comes into play. You could integrate our SDK into a Cell or Tablet application and have staff sweeping the perimeter, allowing their devices to listen and relay the status of perimeter assets in near realtime.
Where Edge Relay really excels!
What are the use cases for Edge?
- IoT Solutions – Choose your adventure; build and deploy an IoT solution with BLE-based infrastructure. With BLE 5.0 on the horizon, Bluetooth is set to challenge, possibly surpass, SigFox and LoRa as a viable communication medium for IoT applications.
- Asset Tracking – Stick a Beacon on something (physical assets, devices, personnel, anything…) and you have a robust indoor location, and condition monitoring platform for warehousing, distribution, hospitals, hospitality, construction, and much more…
- Condition Monitoring – BlueCats beacons are IoT ready with natively built-in sensors which means you can track various condition statuses, or the ambient environment of your assets for property and facilities management, industrial, engineering, mining, and more.
- Perpetual Stocktake – for retail, warehouse, distribution, space utilisation analysis – Commercial offices and premises, warehouse optimisation, schools, gyms, and learning centres.