By Mark de Clercq, Director of Low Power Connectivity Business Unit
Access control and tracking devices are hardly a new concept, but the new Card Beacon from Kontakt.io offers a comprehensive, easy-to-control take on this technology that utilizes connectivity in new and exciting ways. Underpinned by Dialog’s SmartBondTM DA14580 SoC, this card is powered by the world’s smallest, lowest-energy and most integrated Bluetooth low energy solution.
While size isn’t the only feature that sets this beacon apart from other such devices, it’s certainly worth noting. At only 2mm in thickness, the device allows users to store it in their wallets alongside their credit cards.
This will come in especially handy when considering the wealth of applications the beacon can be used for. As a security access credential, the beacon can connect with a cloud-enabled gateway from Kontakt.io at a distance, prompting doors to open as a card holder approaches.
The location-tracking engine, or gateway, can track real-world actions as well when it picks up on a card’s location. This includes turning off lights once all the card holders have left an office, with the gateway keeping tabs on all the cards within a predetermined proximity. Even when a specific card enters a particular area – like an employee sitting down at their desk – it can be synced up to trigger the sending of an email or automatically prompting their online workbook to update.
All of this can be controlled using the Kontakt.io panel, which allows operators to configure, share and monitor beacons via a web-based app that’s connected to the different gateways receiving location data from cards. This software can even be controlled using mobile admin apps that can quickly check and update beacons on both Android and iOS.
But what really makes the card beacon a convenient afterthought for users is the fact that the DA14580 SoC powering the device keeps them running for more than 18 months. The super low power consumption of the Dialog DA14580 BLE SoC makes this happen. The 320mAh battery is extremely flat, but still supports power-saving enablement, a 550ms advertising interval and 8 hours of daily activity. And because so much power fits into such a compact package, it can be applied to a number of environments – not just an employee’s back pocket.
Along with making daily life more convenient for human cardholders, these devices are perfect for tracking assets, allowing users to monitor the whereabouts of sensitive equipment via the remote Panel. This beacon technology, along with other products powered by Dialog’s SmartBond line of SoCs, is the critical force that is quietly pushing IoT into the mainstream, making automation and connectivity deliver, often without users even realizing.