Bluetooth Beacon Development and Tutorials
Learn what Bluetooth iBeacon and beacon technology is and what development systems and kits are available.
The following Channel Guide will help you:
- Better understand the differences between iBeacon and Beacon protocols and specs.
- Get an overview of currently available bluetooth tags and tag management systems and cloud platform proviiders
- See different applications of beacons ranging from museums to retail store tracking
Below we take a look at some of the companies that offer package solutions including beacons and proximity-based content management systems, as well as an overview of the technology and some articles and resources to get you started:
- Companies & Products
- Resources / Books / Articles
- Application Specific
The term iBeacon gets thrown around a lot in this area, but that refers specifically to Apple’s iOS protocols, while beacons can take many forms, come from a variety of manufacturers, and can communicate with most recent-model smartphones. Generally, a beacon can be any device that broadcasts a simple “Here I am!” signal, typically over Bluetooth Low Energy.
Most beacons don’t transmit or receive content -- that’s handled by smartphone apps and cloud services. The app knows which beacons are near, the cloud service knows where each beacon is located, and working together they can deliver content that reflects the user’s immediate surroundings (Generally up to about a 20-50 meter distance).
For retailers, this means they can target ads, coupons, and other content to customers based on which shelf they’re standing in front of, or which section they’re lingering in. They can also collect analytics about the way shoppers move throughout the store, which displays are attracting the most attention, and more.
Unlike some other retail analytics technologies, beacons generally require the user to opt-in by installing an app -- so you won’t have this stuff forced upon you. But there are lots of potential advantages beyond couponing. A location-aware app could make finding product reviews and other information a lot easier, and anyone who’s ever been lost in a large department store knows how useful it would be to have a digital map that can give you turn-by-turn walking directions back to the cash registers.
4 for €99 / No montly fee (Pre-order)
"A Glimworm Beacon is a small transmitter that uses Apple’s iBeacon standard to push messages to your customers when they are nearby.
The opportunities for proximity marketing, hyper local content, narrowcasting, customer service, and contact-less payment are simply too numerous to think about let alone write down. The results are simply mind-blowing."
- Free custom branding
- Open Source software
Price: Dev kit w/ 3 for $99
Price: N/A (Upon request)
Price: 5 for $300
Price: 3 for $99 (Pre-order)
Price: 3 for $99 (Pre-order)
Price: 3 for $94
Price: 3 pack for $100
Price: 1 for $29
Price: 3 Beacon starter kit for €89.00
Many other companies offer stand-alone beacons that can be integrated with existing apps or used to build customized proximity systems. Some of the currently available options include:
Price: Integration Kit £64.99 - Retail £84.99
Price: 1 - 4,999$20 plus s/h
- Mobile to Mortar™ iBeacon Platform
"Datzing was built to empower users to leverage their existing wireless signals as proximity beacons - linking real world experiences to the web"
"Beacify gives you the platform and SDK to manage your complete beacon inventory."
"Using a combination of branded mobile loyalty apps and iBeacons, we provide retailers with instant and ongoing customer insights, the ability to engage customers with timely and relevant offers, to greet them personally when they come in store and offer a tailored in store experience."
"LocalSocial provides a Full Stack Proximity Solution. Developer or White-Label ready (or both!). Your brand. Our platform. Proximity- and iBeacon-power your apps and services. In days, not months."
"CONNECTING THE PHYSICAL WORLD WITH DIGITAL EXPERIENCES. Lighthouse uses beacons to help deliver content and experiences based on proximity to things in the physical world."
- MacBeacon for OSX
"With the MacBeacon app you can turn any Macintosh computer that is running OS X® 10.9 or higher and is equipped with built-in or third party Bluetooth 4.0 into your own, fully-configurable iBeacon."
- Arduino-BLE Developer Kit - Coin
- Turn your Arduino YUN into an iBeacon transmitter - Fiore Basile
- piBeacon - DIY iBeacon with a Raspberry Pi - Adafruit
- How to Make an iBeacon Out of a Raspberry Pi - James Nebeker and David G. Young
- Self-Made iBeacons with Raspberry Pi - Hybris Software
- Build your OWN Apple iBeacon with a Raspberry Pi - Tony Smith
- BlueZ "Official Linux Bluetooth protocol stack"
- Examples of using Bluez as an iBeacon
- Website: BEEKn.net
- Video: Experimentation With Apple’s iBeacon Technology - Nerdery
- In-Store Analytics Handbook
- Businesses Are Turning to Beacons, and It’s Going to Be O.K. - NYTimes
- Getting Started with Bluetooth Low Energy - By Kevin Townsend, Robert Davidson, Akiba, Carles Cufi
- iBeacons Tutorial for iOS 7 with CLBeaconRegion and CLBeacon - DevFright
- iOS 7 Tutorial Series: Core Location Beacons - CapTech
- Video: Introduction to iBeacon and Bluetooth Low Energy - Vektor Digital
- 10/23/2013 Estimote - $3.1M Seed (Innovation Endeavors, Betaworks, Bessemer Venture Partners, Birchmere Ventures, Valiant Capital Partners and others) - Press Release
- 1/23/2014 Sensorberg - $1m Seed (Berlin Technologie Holding and angels) - Press Release
- Whitepaper - Learn How Retailers can Use iBeacon -Bestfit
- High street shops are studying shopper behaviour by tracking their smartphones or movement - The Guardian
- Bluetooth-enabled mobile services threaten NFC with take-off - Mobile Marketer
- Georgetown basketball fans to get a taste of iBeacons’ potential at Verizon Center - Washpost
- Sonic Notify Uses Phones to Bug Fans Who Buy Cheap Seats - BusinessWeek
- Major League Baseball Rolling Out Thousands of iBeacons for Opening Day - MacRumors
- Another Super Bowl Ad Fest, This Time on the Cellphone - NYTimes
- BeHere - An App developed in order to "help organizing attendance and help requests within 2.0 learning environments. Using proximity, teachers can automatically identify which students are accessing the classroom, and easily manage help requests using an ordered line, always up-to-date."
- Google Play Beacon Search
- Placed - iBeacon based app shortcuts (Itunes Link)
- Locate for iBeacon "Makes your device transmit as an iBeacon with configurable identifiers."
- Shortwave: short-range anonymous messaging