Apple iBeacon Technology Overview by Blue Sense Networks

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Information about Apple iBeacon Technology Overview by Blue Sense Networks

Published on June 25, 2014

Author: VladimirPetrov4



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.

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 can’t 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

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