Airfy Beacon is a home automation hotspot that uses smartphone presence detection to customize the behavior of connected devices around the house.
Just picking up your phone in the morning lets the beacon know you’re awake. As you move about the house, you’ll pass through three zones of proximity (very close, near and far) relative to the beacon. Tell Airfy which zone each of your connected devices lives in, and it will be able to turn them on and off automatically, or trigger other actions, depending on your current location.
Add more beacons to improve the fidelity of Airfy’s presence detection, down to your location within a particular room. Airfy also recognizes the phones of multiple users, so it can offer customized presets and behaviors depending on who is present. The app is IFTTT-compatible, which opens up virtually unlimited possibilities for users to program in intelligent, context-based interactions between their various smart devices, web services and themselves.
Airfy meets Apple’s iBeacon standards, and even improves upon certain aspects of that location-detection platform. In a recent blog post, one of Airfy’s designers explained that it’s possible to “clone” an iBeacon — to replicate its unique broadcast signature even when the beacon isn’t present. Without getting into too much technical detail: You can copy the signature “blip” of a beacon from a particular place, then replicate it elsewhere with a laptop or other device to trick your phone into thinking that specific beacon is nearby. Airfy avoids this vulnerability by adding a second, encrypted “blip” that makes it much harder to clone the beacon.
On the inside, Airfy is maker- and hacker-friendly. 31 General Purpose Input/Output (GPIO) connections allows tinkerers to attach their own peripherals, and uses a Nordic Semiconductor SoC that can operate 32bit open source operating systems such as RIOT. The beacons broadcast over Bluetooth low energy, and use AA batteries to run up to 18 months on a charge.
Airfy is in the midst of an Indiegogo campaign, with reward tiers that include Phillips Hue smart lightbulbs to create a basic Internet of Things home automation starter kit. See the video below to learn more.
Related: Bluetooth Beacon Handbook