Generally, the available types of power solutions for beacons in the market are three. First, there are battery-powered beacons, which were actually the first ones in the market. In this category, there are beacons that use coin cell batteries and those that use AA batteries while others use AAA batteries. Secondly, there are electricity-powered beacons, which came after battery powered. The third type of beacons is those that are USB powered.
- Battery powered beacons
Beacons that use batteries are the most common and readily available ones in the market. The most popular battery powered beacons use a coin-sized or AA and AAA batteries. Typically, these batteries are not rechargeable and therefore, you will have to replace them when they become ineffective. The most conventional beacons have battery life that ranges from one to two years. In more often than not, battery life is affected by the surroundings. Generally, extreme temperatures often reduce battery life. You should understand that rain and other absorbing mediums around beacons can reduce their signal strength. Examples of battery-powered beacons are BlueCat and Estimote.
- USB powered
Many businesses prefer using USB powered beacons. Yes, it’s true that beacons that use batteries are readily available as compared to USB powered ones. However, battery powered beacons are more demanding because apart from keeping track of which beacon is running out of battery especially when you are using a fleet of beacons, you also have to replace the batteries at the right time for each beacon.
So, the easy alternatives for battery-powered beacons are USB-powered beacons. All you need to do is with these beacons is to just plug them in and you are good to go. Some of the USB-powered beacons available in the marklet today are AIRCable USB Dongle and Rad among others.
- Ambient electromagnetic wave powered beacons
From the look of things, beacon space is not done with innovating beacon devices. As you know, there are still dozens of issues with beacons. The most common issues is the fact that you still have to check and replace their batteries from time to time, which is actually a daunting task. Ambient electromagnetic wave powered beacons are actually the solution to this problem for now.
Of course, you have many ways to deal with beans battery issues. For instance, you can have a beacon management platform, which detects when a beacon has run out of battery and alert you. However, it would be much easier to work around this if you have a battery-less beacon. These beacons, which are often called ‘Air Beacons’ work by simply extracting power from one particular source of low-current ambient electromagnetic waves. Their size makes them extremely portable and they are currently the most convenient to use.