Given there are so many applications for Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Apple’s iBeacon it’s no wonder that piloting the technology is high on the agenda of many enterprise companies around the world. However, whilst it’s easy to get caught up in the endless applications of BLE and iBeacon, at Lighthouse our sights are firmly set on a select few industries where we believe the business value and ROI is indisputable. And one of the industries we’re most excited about is Security.
If you’re new to BLE and iBeacon technology, we recommend that you read our Beginner’s Guide to iBeacon before reading on.
The security industry is in the midst of a paradigm shift where technology is playing a key role in industry development. Factors such as an increased need for security solutions customized to the customer, increased security awareness among private companies and increased cost of personnel and resourcing are driving demand for low cost technology solutions tailored to the industry.
So how can beacon technology play a role in enhancing the delivery of security services? The core benefit is in understanding the real-time location of your security personnel as they move across different sites. Before we explore some of the benefits in more detail it’s worth noting that there are three key requirements to utilize beacon technology for security:
- Beacon network
You need to deploy a network of BLE beacons across security locations that your security personnel service.
- Mobile devices and app
You’re security personnel will need to carry a smartphone with an app installed. The app will listen for the beacons and track personnel location in real time as well as open up a range of interactions that enhance security operations.
- Management and reporting platform
You will require a web based management and reporting platform such as Lighthouse to manage security personnel, visualise where they are in real-time and access valuable reports and analytics.
Now that you’re across the key requirements, let’s explore some of the benefits in more detail:
Live employee tracking
The mobile devices held by security personnel will continuously submit location data back to Lighthouse. This provides a real-time log of events as personnel move around different security sites. The data generated from this activity can be used to provide a complete audit trail of security personnel movement across different locations and can trigger automated processes such as time tracking, security alerts and location based task lists.
Real-time and historic maps
Utilizing the real-time location data collected, Lighthouse has the ability to provide a live and historical mapping view of security personnel. This allows you to know exactly where each staff member is at any point in time, and how they move through different sites, as well as understand where all security personnel are at the time of an incident. In addition, back in time reporting allows you to pan through historic records to see where all security personnel were at a specific point in time.
Utilizing the real-time location data collected, Lighthouse has the ability to provide heat mapping of security personnel distribution over time. This allows you to optimize your workforce and understand areas of security sites that are being over-serviced or under-serviced.
Through the mobile application, Lighthouse can push automated task checklists to security personnel when they enter a specified zone within different locations. This will ensure all required security rounds and tasks are completed as per client service level agreements.
Again through the mobile application, Lighthouse allows security personnel to record incidents as they happen including video/audio recordings, and attach to recorded incident data. This ensures more accurate recording of incidents to protect against potential litigation.
In addition to tracking security personnel, beacons can be used to track the location of high-value assets at all times. This may include the movement of high value items and cash in transit.
Via the mobile application, Lighthouse allows central command or management to send distributed messages to all relevant security personnel without requiring individual calls (e.g. incident alerts, shift changes or security warnings).
Distress alerts and check-ins
Finally, Lighthouse allows security personnel to provide a discreet distress alert to management without arousing suspicion from a potential offender. In addition, it can prompt lone workers to check-in at regular intervals to meet safety and duty of care requirements.
In summary, we believe beacon technology has a key role to play in helping to enhance the delivery of security services and drive workforce efficiencies through rich data and insights. We are already planning a number of deployments for large scale security companies and look forward to sharing our learnings with you soon.