Radius Networks Rolls Out Beacons For All Formats With Accompanying Wearable Management Tool

As the marketplace for beacons grows, established makers are racing to build them smaller and cheaper. The RadBeacon even comes with an Apple Watch-like controller.

RadBeacon wristband accessory
RadBeacon wristband accessory

Radius Networks is fully releasing its “RadBeacon Dot Bluetooth Smart” proximity communications device across Apple’s iBeacon, the year-old AltBeacon format, and Google’s recently unveiled Eddystone.

The RadBeacon Dot is powered by a user-replaceable coin-cell battery, and it boasts an easily found on-off clickable button. And to appeal to early adopters among its retail and venue operator clients, the RadBeacon Dot also comes with accessories including an Apple-Watch-like silicone wristband and keychain holder that lets wearers control the application.

The RadBeacon Dot sells for $14 each ($10 if bought in packages of 100) and is billed as “the perfect beacon for conferences, trade shows, exhibits, and other events where power may not be readily available and ultimate flexibility in placement is mrangeost important.” It also comes in a USB format that costs $29 each ($21 if you buy 100).

The release comes little more than a week after Gimbal began offering its battery-free, USB-based U-Series 5 beacon, which can plug into computers, vending machines, televisions, cash registers, and anything else with an accessible port.

Teeming With Beacons

With the release of Google’s Eddystone beacon format, the teeming beacon space is only going to be more crowded, and companies like Gimbal and Radius will have to work harder to differentiate their products. Cost, ease-of-use, and range are the primary battlegrounds where beacon companies compete. But with those differences being relatively small — beacons’ ability to reach a smartphone’s Bluetooth receiver is typically around 50 meters or less — the ultimate test will come down to reliability and marketing.

“The RadBeacon Dot has been in development for quite a while,” said David Young, Radius’ chief engineer, noting how careful the company has been about making sure its product is ready for prime time.

The device was first tested in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where the Washington, DC-based mobile sensor maker installed about 1,000 beacons that covered over 4 million square feet to provide indoor navigation and location services.

The company claims that this was “the largest deployment of its kind.” In any case, it’s worth noting that up until CES 2014, Radius had largely been in stealth mode. Earlier this year, Radius accepted a $6.5 million seed round led by Core Capital Partners, Contour Venture Partners, and Trilogy Equity Partners, DC Inno reported at the time.

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David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.