Apple iBeacon Technology Overview by Blue Sense Networks

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These are the slides for a talk I gave at the Bluetooth Developers Meetup on 25 June in London, UK. A quick iBeacon technology overview and an overview of Blue Sense Networks' hardware and software offerings.

Transcript of Apple iBeacon Technology Overview by Blue Sense Networks

  • Apple iBeacon Technology Overview
  • Apple iBeacon Any BLE enabled device can act as an iBeacon iBeacon is a custom advertising packet for BLE devices that exposes several numbers: UUID, Major and Minor Passive technology no connection neededApple WWDC - June 2013
  • iBeacon Advertisement Packet Structure iBeacon Preamble 02 # Number of bytes that follow in first AD structure 01 # Flags AD type 06 # Flags value 1A # Number of bytes that follow in second (and last) AD structure FF # Manufacturer specific data AD type 4C 00 # Company identifier code (0x004C == Apple) 02 # Byte 0 of iBeacon advertisement indicator 15 # Byte 1 of iBeacon advertisement indicator
  • Distance Estimation Estimation based on RSSI TxPower field is used to judge distance Very unreliable Distance estimates change when conditions change (ambient temperature, number of people etc.) Beacon calibration on location is imperative
  • Additional Requirements 100ms advertisement rate Calibration must be performed on installation Devices should not be connectable iBeacon is an Apple trademark - self certification available through the MFi programme
  • iOS Support iBeacon is supported natively in iOS 7+ as part of CoreLocation iOS devices can both detect iBeacons and act as iBeacons Apps can subscribe to receive background notifications Apps receive notifications even if they are closed and completely shut down iBeacon notifications persist even after device restart
  • Android Support No official Android support Very few BLE enabled devices out there No peripheral profile in Android - device cant act as iBeacon Problems with BLE stack implementation - very unstable, sometimes WiFi and BLE are in conflict 3rd party libraries used to get similar functionality as in iOS - Radius Networks open source library available on GitHub
  • Windows Support
  • BlueBar Beacon Fully CE, FCC, IC, Japan and South Korea certified iOS and Android (4.3+) compatible Fully configurable - all iBeacon parameters, signal strength and advertisement frequency Runs on a single CR2450 battery up to 2 years of service Available now on our website we ship worldwide
  • Configuration Utility App + BlueBar SDK Allows over the air configuration of BlueBar beacons Available in the AppStore for iOS and on Google Play for Android Open-source on GitHub to allow custom branding and integration into existing solutions
  • Beacon management and deployment control Proximity Campaign management Analytics Currently in Private Beta for select customers
  • Kontext Events discovery People and Conversations nearby, powered by iBeacons Offers and promotions nearby Launched at RE.WORK Berlin in June Available on for iOS and Android
  • Demo App Source code available for both iOS and Android on
  • Full stack iBeacon Solutions Provider @BlueSenseNet @VladPetroff