As of today we are all sending orders using UPS Standard and Express services rather than via post office tracked domestic and air mail. This is so as to improve international delivery times, make them more predictable and avoid problems with impending postal strikes.
All UK orders now have next day delivery to business areas. International customers can now select between UPS Standard by road or UPS Express by air. Our delivery web page lists how UPS Standard delivery times vary by country. UPS Express arrives next business day to most European countries and the second business day to business areas in the US and Canada.
FIND is an open source indoor locating system for home automation, indoor local positioning and passive tracking. It uses your smartphone or laptop to pinpoint your position in your home or office with a location precision of below 10 sq ft.
FIND uses scanning of WiFi and Bluetooth:
FIND compiles these different signals can be compiled into a fingerprint which can be used to uniquely classify the current location of that device
Pushcut, the HomeKit and workflow automation iOS app, has some updates that now allow iBeacon triggered in background. Delayed notifications and ‘do not repeat’ durations are also possible with iBeacon triggers.
Pushcut allows you to execute online actions and web requests in the background providing IFTTT triggers from an iBeacon.
The paper looks into the affect of radio frequency (RF) noise on connection based Bluetooth LE communication and provides a mechanism that significantly improves the time taken to send a message in noisy environments. To be clear, beacon-related scenarios rarely use GATT connection based communication and instead use connection-less communication repeatedly broadcasting short packets on 3 advertisement channels (37, 38, and 39). Connection tends to be used only to set up beacon parameters or for more advanced scenarios where a device such as a smartphone connects to the beacon for bidirectional data transfer to get real time data, for example, more timely motion detection.
The authors distinguish their research as experimentally derived as opposed to analytic (just using calculations). They show how the Bluetooth Adaptive Frequency Hopping (AFH) algorithm allows Bluetooth devices to blacklist interfered channels and re-transmit packets on different frequencies until interference is avoided.
The paper shows how the AFH algorithm mitigates the effects of Wi-Fi interference near a Bluetooth master by blacklisting channels. An interesting insight is that the master is unable to detect Wi-Fi interference near the Bluetooth slave and is unable to adapt resulting in UDP messages being significantly delayed.
“Our experiments show that BLE connections are eventually able to successfully transmit all data packets, even under heavy Wi-Fi or Bluetooth interference”
The authors demonstrate that by lowering the connection interval in response to changes in the link quality, an application can reduced the average number of packets delayed from 6.18% to 0.54%.
Sparrow is an open source Graphical Bluetooth and WiFi Analyzer for Linux. It provides a 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz spectrum view, listens for Bluetooth LE advertising and tracks advertisement or iBeacons advertisement sources. It can also be used to advertise iBeacon.
Sparrow is useful for advanced users who need to diagnose more advanced problems related to interference or which part of a system isn’t working.
One of our customers, Activ84Health in Belgium, has an interesting product that we have been working on, Memoride, that encourages the use of cycling fitness machines through the use of a moving map and visual route.
The system uses beacons to detect movement of the cycling machine.
The technology is featured in the Care England Best Practice Report:
Products are increasing including iBeacon or more generic Bluetooth LE advertising in order to identify themselves to apps. There’s the recent example of the Tesla 3.
Higher end WiFi access points such as the mesh Linksys VELOP also use Bluetooth for identification in mobile apps. Recently we came across a new wireless security system, AJAX, that also uses iBeacon for identification to apps:
Bluetooth advertising provides a solution to the ‘chicken and egg’ problem of how to connect to a product to set it up, before it has been set up and connected to a (usually WiFi) network.