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For the longest time, retail was mainly interested in beacons: small radio transmitters as short-range solutions for location-based marketing and payment systems. Other scenarios included hardware modules as a means of indoor navigation. Lately “high-maintenance environments” have come into focus, i.e. industrial production facilities. There beacons are, for example, used to conveniently retrieve manuals and other additional information that maintenance technicians need on site, or simply to correctly identify machines and workpieces ( asset tracking ).

Beacon solutions are generally BLE-based ( Bluetooth Low Energy ) – from Apple’s iBeacon technology and Google’s Eddystone to the concrete blukii application, for which Baden-Wuerttemberg distinguished Schneider Schreibgeräte GmbH as a flagship project for applied Industry 4.0 . According to a BIS research market study , the field of applications will likely expand rapidly, for example into the smart cities and healthcare segments. The authors expect the beacon market to grow at an average rate of just under 60% per annum by 2026 to over $56 billion. Persistence Market Research estimates a market volume of $200 million for 2017. Asia is an important growth area.