Short Range Logging
Short Range Logging
Without any doubt, setting up beacons then installing them to only log staff attendance in a small area, for short range logging, is more difficult than setting up for malls and entrances.
Short range logging for such places as bathrooms (toilet blocks) is common. The main users for short range logging are our facilities manager clients and some shopping centers. They may have 4 toilet blocks side by side; male, female, disabled and parents rooms. The goal is to only register staff attendance in the bathroom they enter, and not those they pass by and do not attend.
Short range logging requires care and attention to detail – plus the way beacons are configured makes a big difference.
Three Critical Factors
Firstly – make sure Elite-ID configure your beacons for short range. There are 2 settings and we will set them for you before shipping.
Secondly – install the beacons in the best place – where staff pass must pass close to.
- Do install in the middle of the area to be monitored where staff must pass.
- Do install where staff pass very close to. Sometimes cupboards are an ideal place.
- Beware installing on walls to other spaces – near corridors for example.
Third – your staff must be consistent in how they log data. The must pass close to the beacon. Do not carry the logger in the hand – it becomes more sensitive.
Good and Bad Considerations
Good. Install a beacon in the middle of a small area staff must pass through – example, in an arch way or an air-lock.
Good. Install on the ceiling above a narrow walk way staff must pass through. It they pass close-under the beacon, this is ideal.
Good. Install a beacon in a cupboard under a sink or bench area where staff must attend. Being hip height means it is close to where staff carry their logger and hence will have best chance of pickup.
Good. Do check the results. If you suspect staff are not being registered, do move the beacon and/or instruct staff to make sure they pass close to the beacon.
BAD. Install on a common wall – one area is meant to be logged, the other not. There is a strong chance the signal will go through the wall and be picked up by staff in the other area. This is because of penetration.
BAD. Installing on a high ceiling. This makes it a long distance to where staff pass. If the beacon is set to short range, there is a strong possibility it may not be picked up by people passing underneath.
BAD. Using a beacon not optimized for short range. Call Elite-ID.
Understanding The Issues
No one wants you to have a great result with your Beacons more than Elite-ID.
The problem is that with short range logging it can be quite difficult to get accurate staff sensing because of the nature of RF signals and how staff attend small areas.
Here we explain the background issues.
Staff Move Quickly Through Small Areas. A mall with a 10 meter logging diameter, or more, will take a staff member maybe 20 seconds to pass through. If the logging diameter is only 3 meters, staff moving through that area maybe three times faster. Careful siting of beacons to make sure staff pass nearby is critical.
Signal Direction. Signals come out from a Beacon in ALL directions. We cannot “send it just over there” – so you must mount beacons in a way that the signal area suits what you want.
Signal Penetration. Beacons use signals similar to WiFi. They go straight through plaster walls. They get reduced slightly by wood, and reduced quite a lot by people, by concrete and brick work. Hence, the walls in the area you are installing into must be taken into account.
Signals Bounce. They reflect quite well off some surfaces. Things like metal signs, metal benches, and even glass walls reflect beacon signals. Lift wells and escalators reflect signals quite strongly.
Time To Register. A beacon sends the same signal with its serial number out, time and again, constantly. The time between “sends” of this signal matters. If staff move through a small area covered by a beacon very quickly, unless the beacon is configured correctly it may not be sensed. For this reason, the way Elite-ID configure and where you site a beacon is important.
Ideal places are where staff can’t move quickly through, or force staff to be close to the beacon.