Introduction to iBeacon: Taking Bluetooth LE for a Test Drive

With the Apple launch of iBeacon – the ability to transmit and detect Bluetooth LE signals, we’re still lacking good real-world examples of the technology in action. We’ve been running our own tests, of course, and piloting them as part of our Virtual Citizen project with the Coalition of Youth Councils (about which more in […]

Apple iBeacon Bugs Complicate Bluetooth LE Experience

Before you attack your new Bluetooth LE beacon in frustration you can blame a possible bug in the Apple API for sudden state changes in finding and ranging beacons. After banging our own heads, Dan Nolan from Proxima confirmed a problem we’d been seeing and which we initially blamed either on the beacons themselves or […]

iBeacon Tutorial: Ultimate Guide Includes Setting Your Estimote

There’s a sparse library of sample code and tutorials when it comes to Apple iBeacon technology – in part because much of it seems to have been written without access to, you know, actual beacons. Instead, it’s simple stuff like an overview of using two phones to set up broadcasting and monitoring. But Cocoanetics has […]

Estimote Launches Help Desk

For those of you tinkering with your new kit of Estimote beacons there’s finally a way to get answers to your questions that doesn’t rely on Twitter or hanging out on GitHub. Estimote has launched a new Zendesk-powered community portal that will hopefully make it easier to keep track of common questions and answers (and […]

What’s Inside an Estimote?

What’s inside an Estimote beacon? Not much – and that’s one of the amazing things about Bluetooth LE. Whether you’re using a tiny dongle that you plug into the USB port on your laptop or you have one of the little turtles from Estimote the largest thing they usually hide is a battery. Of course, […]

Estimote Quick Tip: Edit Major/Minor and Other Device Properties

A short and incredibly sweet tip if you recently got your hands on a set of Estimote Bluetooth LE beacons: run, don’t walk and grab yourself a copy of the Estimote Editor. It’s a sweet little piece of code that lets you quickly change the settings on the physical beacon (e.g. major/minor and other values). […]

Building an iBeacon iOS App: 5 Key Decisions

At first glance, building an iOS app using Apple’s iBeacon API seems fairly straightforward. The API only consists of a few classes and methods and a ‘beacon’ isn’t actually a terribly complicated thing: in most cases (unless it’s paired with other technology) it simply transmits a small packet of data and lets your app do […]

Estimote Launches Revised Virtual Beacon with Radar

Bluetooth beacon-maker Estimote has received approval from Apple for its latest version of a ‘virtual beacon’ and has added mapping and compatibility with physical beacons. Wow, that’s a lot of beacons in one sentence! But the news will come as a relief to tinkerers who were having trouble getting their previous virtual beacon to, well, […]

Getting Started with Estimote (2) : Finding Beacons, Range and Precision

Differentiating between range and precision is one of the challenges of understanding how to build effective use cases with iBeacon, Estimote beacons and other other types of Bluetooth LE devices. I had an interesting back-and-forth with someone on Twitter last night asking about the range of beacons. The conversation reminded me of my own confusion […]