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Beacon signals: what, why, how, and where?

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5 Author(s)

Beacons are primarily radio, ultrasonic, optical, laser or other types of signals that indicate the proximity or location of a device or its readiness to perform a task. Beacon signals also carry several critical, constantly changing parameters, such as power-supply information, relative address, location, timestamp, signal strength, available bandwidth resources, temperature and pressure. Although transparent to the user community, beacon signals have made wireless systems more intelligent and human-like. They are an integral part of numerous scientific and commercial applications, ranging from mobile networks to search-and-rescue operations and location-tracking systems. Beacon signals help synchronize, coordinate and manage electronic resources using miniscule bandwidth. Researchers continue to improve their functionality by increasing signal coverage while optimizing energy consumption. Beacon signals' imperceptibility and usefulness in minimizing communication delays and interference are spurring exploratory efforts in many domains, ranging from the home to outer space

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:34 ,  Issue: 10 )

Date of Publication:

Oct 2001

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