We’ve been working with a big batch (over 100) iBeacons over the last few weeks.
There has been a lot written about the ability of these devices to accurately pinpoint a person within, say, a store.
Our experience is that while these devices are reasonably accurate and similar, in being able to identify themselves over a certain distance, the accuracy required for triangulation and being able to pinpoint a user by use of proximity to a number of iBeacons is just not reliable enough.
There are a number of reasons for this including;
Building and human intervention: If the user rotates their body will then act as a shield to the iBeacon. This creates an inaccurate result.
Transmission interval: In order to maintain a reasonable length of time between battery changes it seems likely that the interval will be lowered, thus preserving power levels.
As each beacon will, therefore, be transmitting at different times, it is difficult to maintain an accurate positioning.
Our projects are not attempting to pinpoint the user to an exact location. The results we’ve seen just don’t seem to warrant the development.
Of course, this may all change in the future, but the stated battery life of the devices causes problems right now.