Estimote stickers are tiny adhesive beacons that can be attached to any surface to help unconnected objects interact with smartphones.
GPS already helps smartphones make sense of the outdoor world, and devices such as iBeacons are enabling indoor spaces such as stores and homes to be connected to mobile devices. For example, San Francisco Airport recently installed beacons to help blind people navigate its Terminal 2. Now Estimote stickers are tiny adhesive beacons that can be attached to any surface to help unconnected objects interact with smartphones.
Based in both the US and Poland, Estimote already released its beautifully-designed standard beacons last year, providing venues with a way to deliver context-relevant content to customer smartphones. Stickers are intended to provide another layer of context to its beacon system. Instead of tracking the ways visitors interact with different spaces in a store, for example, the stickers can be placed onto individual items and provide information on how often they're picked up or where they are in the store.
Despite their thin shape, each Estimote sticker contains an accelerometer and temperature sensors, as well as a processor and Bluetooth connector. If an item is picked up, extra information from price or user reviews could be automatically displayed on nearby monitors, or pushed to the customer's phone.
As well as industrial use, the stickers can also be used as simple trackers for consumers. Stick one on a bag and it can notify owners when it's left behind. Place one in the bedroom and it will know if users are still in bed or have made it into the kitchen for breakfast, and sound an alarm if not.
Watch the video below for more examples of how the technology can be applied:
Estimote is calling its stickers 'nearables' — they provide similar benefits to wearables without having to be attached to the user, and offer more information about the immediate environment. The Estimote stickers Developer Preview Kit can now be pre-ordered from the company's website. Are there other ways to turn typically dumb objects into connected ones?