International CES to Feature Wide-Scale Indoor BLE Navigation System

The International Consumer Electronics Shows (CES) is "ground zero" for new technology, including not only the latest televisions, computers, and smartphones, but also the latest toys for meeting planners. This year's show, which takes place Jan. 6-9 in Las Vegas, is no exception, as it will feature what the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) claims is the trade show industry's first wide-scale indoor navigation system powered by Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons.

Like Apple's iBeacon technology, the system, designed by Radius Networks, utilizes small, low-cost transmitters to broadcast Bluetooth signals to nearby handheld devices. Attendees with Bluetooth enabled on their smartphone or tablet can receive the signals inside the official CES app and use it to navigate the trade show floor, receiving directions to a preferred exhibitor or to their next education session.

All told, the system covers an estimated 4 million square feet of space.

"CES is all about innovation and leveraging next-generation technologies," Karen Chupka, CEA's senior vice president of International CES and corporate business strategy, said in a statement. "We are excited to partner with Radius Networks to implement this new BLE-powered navigation system. This new service supports our goal to continuously provide our attendees with new tools to enhance their show experience."


For a recap of last week's top stories, check out MeetingNews Minute: