Set up your Bluetooth beacon

After you receive a beacon in the mail from Google, it’s easy to set up and maintain. This article explains how to set up the beacon at your place of business.

Before you begin

Use the installation form to activate your beacon.

Instructions

  1. Take the beacon out of the box. You’ll find it underneath a cardboard flap.
    1. After taking it out of the box, the beacon switches on automatically. It’s powered by a small battery that’s designed to last for several years.
  2. Place the beacon somewhere in the middle of your business.
    1. Don’t put the beacon near walls that you share with your neighbors or external walls. The beacon is most effective when it’s placed somewhere high, such as on a ceiling or near the top of a pillar. You can also place the beacon at your point of sale or anywhere in the middle of your space, such as under a table or shelf where it's unobtrusive to your customers.
    2. You can attach the beacon using the adhesive strip on the side. Apply pressure to the beacon for about 30 seconds until the adhesive is secure.
  3. Go to goo.gl/beaconsetup to activate your beacon. This step is required to complete the installation. You’ll need the activation code from the address label on your box.
    1. It’s okay if you can’t find your activation code. We can activate your beacon using your business name and postcode or zipcode. This method may take a little longer to activate your beacon.

Common questions about your beacon

How does Project Beacon work?

Beacons can help improve the location information Google provides to you and your customers. The beacon is a small, Bluetooth device that sends a one-way signal to a user’s phone without capturing any information about the user. If a user shares their location, the beacon signal can help the user’s phone determine their location more accurately. When a user’s phone has a better understanding of where they are and if they’ve visited your store, you can unlock a variety of new features to improve their experience and your local business presence. Learn more
Only stores with active location extensions are eligible to receive a beacon. Learn more about location extensions.

What is the range of the beacons? 

Beacons are calibrated for small-to-medium business surface areas. For location services, we look at the strength of the beacon signal combined with other signals, such as GPS, in order to count visitors to your venue. As long as the beacon is installed according to the instructions, our algorithms can take it from there

Does a beacon use/affect the WiFi signal of the store? 

No, the beacon does not use WiFi signals nor creates any interference with it.

What is the difference between Project Beacon and Eddystone?  

Eddystone is an open beacon format developed by Google, which allows developers to build highly personalized features into apps and access to other functionalities leveraging beacons. This is a customized and more complex solution. We have therefore identified and certified Location Service Providers with experience developing on top of the Eddystone platform. These 3rd party providers are able to provide a wide range of location services for a variety of business types. Any of these more customized solutions will need to rely on other self-provided beacons.

What do beacons cost me?  

Project Beacon is currently free. The beacon is provided free of charge, and there’s no need to sign up to any particular service to use it. There will be no cost for you. Google will cover all of the purchasing and mailing the Beacons. Google will not provide maintenance service for beacons that fail or need battery replacement, but we expect these need to be minimal.

Where should we place the beacon to fully use its potential?  

Place the beacon somewhere in the middle of your business or, if large, where most of your customers go. The beacon is most effective when it’s placed somewhere high, such as on a ceiling or near the top of a pillar. You can also place the beacon at point of sale or anywhere in the middle of your space, such as under a table or shelf where it's unobtrusive to customers. Don’t put the beacon near walls that you share with your neighbours or external walls. 

What if I can’t find somewhere central to put the beacon?  

If you’re unable to place the beacon somewhere central and high up in your shop, for example if the ceilings are too high, or the beacon doesn’t fit with your decor, you can place it at your point of sale, or under a table or shelf. Avoid placing the beacon inside any kind of metal container such as a cash register. No matter where you put it, the beacon will still work, although it will be harder for users’ phones to make use of the signal.

How do I know whether the beacon is working correctly? 

After taking the beacon out of the box, it switches on automatically. The beacon you've received is already registered to a Google cloud project. The activation code (step 3) helps us know that the beacon has been installed successfully and is ready to be used across Google products.

How long does it take to see results from my beacon?  

The impact of the beacon on location features such as user-generated content, including reviews, photos or Popular times vary from business to business. The beacon signal will start integrating with Google’s location products within a couple of weeks after installation. Its main purpose is to increase the accuracy of location services at your venue.

Can I use beacon data for retargeting/identifying users?  

No - beacons do not collect any data and any reporting we provide to businesses about store visits or location insights that the beacon helps support is aggregated and anonymized. We never show reporting tied to any individual website visits, ad clicks, viewable impressions, or people. Google uses industry best practices to ensure the privacy of individual users.

How do I reconfigure the beacon to send messages/push notifications? 

Project Beacon is designed to improve the performance of location-related features in Google products for your venue, such as popular times, reviews etc. The beacon itself is configured for just this purpose, and isn't re-configurable by the user. If you would like to obtain a beacon to use with our developer platform, you can find a list of manufacturers at g.co/beacons

How can I deactivate beacons?

There is no need to deactivate beacons. If at anytime you do not wish to participate in Project Beacon you can return the beacon to us.

Do I need to return the deactivated beacons?

You may return the beacon to us for recycling (in the box it came in) or by simply disposing of it. To return: 1. Cross out the address - but not the name, 2. Write 'return to sender' on the front of the envelope - don't worry if you don't know who the sender is, 3. Put it in a post box.

Contact Google

Your organization may have a store operations or marketing department that can help you decide how or where to set up your beacon. If you already received information from your operations team about Project Beacon, you can follow the instructions they sent you.

If you have more questions, you can contact your Google sales representative or beacon-help@google.com (English language support only). Not every message sent to this address will receive a reply, however, this page will be updated based on common questions received.

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