When Beacons are initially set up for a Club, Clubessential encrypts the Beacons each with a unique identifier, and assigns a defined range to the beacon as to how far the beacon will transmit its bluetooth signal (based on info gathered from the Club). This is measured in decibels, however, has been translated into approximate distances for ease of reference (i.e. short range - (20ft or less), medium range (20 - 70ft), and long range (70 - 150ft). Note this distance translation is an approximation and is also relative, based on factors such as the location of beacon placement, and what fixed objects are in the area. The Beacon is then associated with a Beacon Zone.
How Beacons Work
Beacons emit a bluetooth signal that can be received by devices. The beacons are configured to notice your app on a device as it passes through the beacon’s range (strength of signal). Once the beacon ‘sees’ your app, it sends a signal to the website to look for notifications it needs to send, if any, as well as communicate member information into the CRM.
If you have notifications set up on the website, the site then verifies the user is located in the directory, verifies the message, and sends that message out. Before it is sent to the device, the message is first filtered through Notification Certificates, located on both Apple and Android servers. This process ensures there is no spamming or otherwise malicious intent in the message. The notification is then sent to the device.
The delivery time of a notification can vary depending on whether or not the app is 'active' - in the foreground of device - or if the app is in the background of the device. Active apps will receive messages within two seconds of sending.When the app is in the background of the device, or not active - the notification to the device is lower priority and can take up to 11 seconds to deliver. These are standard settings determined by Apple and Android that are unable to be altered.
Warning: Beacons placed near moving vehicles will render mixed results. The speed of the vehicle and because the vehicle is metal are both factors that play into whether or not the beacon will ‘see’ the device. This can result in a missed notification, or missed member display in the CRM.
The notification from front gate, for example, could also be further delayed, when the member is exiting the club in their vehicle. This could happen when the device has a solid connection, via WIFI or LTE, and drives past the beacon. The message is created, then sent - but now the device has moved, and is now in a low, or no WIFI or LTE area. The notifications use device data to be sent to the app. If there is not a strong data connection, the message will not be delivered. Similar to browsing the web, and losing internet connection. Apple and Android then decide how long to 'hold' the message until the device is again connected to a stronger signal. We’ve seen these messages delayed up to twenty minutes, which is a reasonable amount of time for the message to be held until delivered. Again, Apple and Android control these timing of these types of deliveries and cannot be altered.
You should expect beacon notifications to work around 90-95% of the time. There are a few scenarios that affect the beacon notifications, being aware of these can help you better serve your membership.
A Zone holds the beacon in a collection that associates an area of the club with the Beacon(s). A zone may contain more than one beacon, or may contain just one (more common). When defining Beacon Zones, it is important to define the why behind the zone, and answer the question what will you be triggering in the zone. For instance, a beacon placed by the 18th green could hold one beacon that would read a short range, triggering a message to Members about posting their scores. Another zone could be on the Entrance gate, and could trigger a message to the General Manager of the Club when a Board Member enters the premises.