FAQ

iBeacon range: How far can these beacons transmit?

On average iBeacon beacons transmit up to 50 meters or 164 feet. However, some forms of beacons, like long-range beacons transmit as far as 500 metres or 1640 feet. Depending on the use case, different beacons can be deployed.

Heres a list of iBeacon compliant beacons with their corresponding transmission ranges and other deciding factors like battery life, recommended use cases and cost.

Devices compatible with iBeacon

① iBeacon for iOS

On iOS devices, it is imperative that a relevant app is installed. This is the only way the iBeacon protocol can communicate with iOS devices. This app could be a brand app or a popular third-party app. If you want to run campaigns for iOS devices but do not have an app, consider using Nearbee, an app designed to broadcast proximity marketing notifications on iOS devices.

 

② iBeacon for Android

On Android devices too, a relevant app must be installed. However, using the Eddystone protocol (another beacon protocol that Minew supports) can allow notifications to be sent without an app. This is possible due to the Google Nearby.

How does Apple’s iBeacon technology work?

Apples iBeacon technology enables beacons running on the iBeacon protocol to broadcast a serial ID number. This signal needs to be picked up by a relevant app on the phone. Without an app, it is not possible to have the smartphone scan for a signal. The standard iBeacon for BLE advertising contains 4 pieces of crucial information which is -

Unique Universal Identifier (UUID): This UUID tells you general information about the beacon such as who it belongs to or the name of the business that is using it.

Major: This conveys the beacons general location. For example, this beacon is located in the store#11.

Minor: This lets you know about the beacons detailed location. For example, this beacon is located in aisle 5.

Tx Power: This refers to the strength of the signal. This can be used to determine the proximity of devices from the beacon.

What is iBeacon proximity marketing?

Proximity marketing is essentially a marketing strategy that entails sending hyper-local contextual information. Say, someone is passing by a car dealership and gets information about the recently revealed prices for a newly-launched luxury car brand via the iBeacon installed in the store. That is a classic example of proximity marketing. Proximity marketing using iBeacons can also be used to engage, drive more traffic, offer promotions and rewards and gamify the user experience.

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① The customer enters the shop

② Her phone receive the signal

③ She receives the information on phone

④ Interact with the information or deal

⑤ The interaction generates data for analysis

What is iBeacon?

Apple introduced the iBeacon protocol at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in 2013. iBeacon opened doors to a host of opportunities for location-data and proximity marketing. This protocol enables seamless interactivity between iOS and Android devices, and an iBeacon hardware, such as BLE beacons.

iBeacon technology has been empowering businesses by letting them welcome customers, provide location-relevant information and promote ongoing offers. iBeacon compliant beacons allow smartphones to detect BLE signals and display the notifications and campaigns linked to them.

iBeacon and beacon are not the same things!

Although iBeacon and beacon are used interchangeably they are not at all the same thing. Beacons are physical devices that are powered by Bluetooth Low Energy technology whereas iBeacon is a protocol or a way to transmit data.

Can Eddystone beacons be used without an app? How?

Yes! This is by virtue of the Google Nearby service that comes inbuilt with every Android phone above version 4.3. The Nearby service enables the Android phones to receive notifications without having to download any special app.

What is Physical Web?

The entire Eddystone proximity ecosystem is called the Physical Web. It denotes the convergence of physical and digital worlds. Broadly speaking, Physical Web is the discovery service that enables beacons scan for the smartphones in their range.

To receive Physical Web notifications, the smartphones must have a Physical Web compatible app (or a browser or a service such as Nearby and CloseBy).

Google Chrome browser was a Physical Web browser until Google stopped supporting Physical Web on Chrome.

What is Google Nearby? How is it related to Eddystone?

Nearby is a service developed by Google for Android devices to receive beacon signals. Nearby is the reason why Android phones don’t need an app to receive beacon notifications. When beacons broadcast an Eddystone data packet, the Nearby service in Android phones detects the packet.

The Eddystone protocol with the help of Nearby service enables proximity marketing for businesses who dont have their own app.

How does Eddystone work? What are Eddystone packets?

 

Deploy beacons => smartphone detects BLE signal => ID number sent to cloud server => Server responds accordingly => Assigned notification displayed => Beacon notification drivers sales

 

A beacon with Eddystone protocol is simply broadcasting a signal with a data packet. This data packet is detected by a smartphone to trigger the corresponding actions. Under this protocol, a data packet would contain four pieces of information:

 

① Eddystone-UID: A unique ID with a Namespace component (10-byte) and a Instance component (6-byte).

② Eddystone-URL: A compressed URL that has to be decompressed to be used by the client.

③ Eddystone-TLM: This contains the status data of a beacon e.g. the battery status, the temperature of the beacon etc.

④ Eddystone-EID: It is a time-varying beacon frame which can be resolved to a stable identifier using a linked resolver.

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