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4 reasons why Mapsted Technology doesn’t require beacons for indoor positioning

Beacons not required! Mapsted provides unique, stand-alone indoor navigation technology that does not rely on Bluetooth or Wi-Fi signals.

1. The cost to purchase and install beacons can be astronomical

Yes, an individual beacon can be purchased and installed for about $20. And, if only a few beacons were needed to provide signals for a shopping mall, they would be a cost-effective solution. However, each beacon typically provides a signal that only covers about 150 square feet. That means even a small mall would require about 2,000 beacons!

Agincourt Mall in Toronto, Canada. Its 317,000 sq. ft. of retail space would require more than 2,000 beacons.

Let’s take Agincourt Mall in Toronto as an example. This relatively small mall (317,000 sq. ft.) would require 2,113 beacons at a cost of more than $42,000. The cost to outfit a large mall such as Yorkdale in Toronto would skyrocket to an astronomical $227,000. Suddenly those $20 beacons don’t seem so inexpensive!

Providing Bluetooth signals for even a small shopping mall can be expensive.

2. Maintaining beacons is costly and time consuming

Beacon batteries may need to changed every few months.

Beacon batteries typically last about six months however, power usage is dependent on a beacon’s output—the more distance a signal covers, the greater its power usage. That means some beacon batteries may last only a few months before they need to be replaced.

You may think it’s no big deal if one out of 2,000 beacons stops working. Yet, even if only one beacon fails, it could create a signal dead zone and shoppers in a certain area of your mall would not be able to access indoor navigation or receive geo-targeted mobile ads.

3. Indoor navigation should be accessible with or without Bluetooth

Shoppers must activate Bluetooth on their smartphones to access indoor navigation in malls that use beacons. While that may not appear as a major disadvantage, many shoppers forget or simply refuse to activate Bluetooth when they enter a shopping mall. Even with signage and reminders, many customers refuse to use Bluetooth as it requires additional power from a smartphone’s battery.

4. Beacons can be slow to implement and challenging to scale

To provide consistent coverage, beacons must be properly positioned throughout a mall.

Beacons must be properly positioned throughout a shopping mall or store by a trained specialist who understands signal coverage. As a result, installation—depending on the size and complexity of your mall—could take anywhere from several days to several weeks. And because the layout of each mall is different, installing beacons in multiple properties—even if they are part of one portfolio—would still be slow and expensive.

Mapsted’s view: Beacon costs outweigh their benefits

Beacons require large upfront capital costs, costly installation and ongoing, time-consuming maintenance.

Mapsted reviewed beacon technology and found large upfront capital costs, costly installation and ongoing, time-consuming maintenance. We visited several malls with beacons that worked perfectly when they were installed. Yet only a few months later, most of these malls had reverted to kiosks, information desks and text-for-location services because they failed to maintain the batteries in their beacons.

We knew there was a better way! That’s why Mapsted developed unique, stand-alone technology that provides reliable and accurate indoor navigation in any shopping mall or building—WITHOUT relying on Bluetooth or Wi-Fi signals.


MAPSTED CORP. is a Canadian technology firm that strives to be the global leader and provider of indoor positioning/location services.

Unlike other indoor navigation platforms, our ground-breaking core localization technology does NOT require Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or cellular connections. It can be easily deployed in multi-storey buildings, underground floors and other areas that are generally known as dead-zone locations.

MAPSTED offers a smart mall solution that includes geo-targeted mobile ads and comprehensive shopper analytics—all based on our leading-edge indoor navigation platform.

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