Bluetooth Buttons for Lone Worker and SOS

Some beacons can be used to detect a button press. This is useful for lone worker, SOS or paging type applications. There are two main mechanisms:

Keypress Shown in Advertising

Depending on the beacon, this can be setup either to only advertise when the key is pressed (button triggered) or advertising all the time and the advertising changes. The former is better for longer battery life while the latter is better when you need to continuously know the beacon is working.

Advertising can be detected:

  • In apps using standard Apple and Android Bluetooth APIs
  • On single board computers such as Raspberry Pi
  • Using Bluetooth to WiFi/Ethernet gateways that send the advertising to a server
  • On Macs and PCs using built in Bluetooth (on laptops) or using a Bluetooth dongle
  • On any devices that have a USB connection, using a scanning dongle

Keypress Detected via a GATT Connection

A few beacons allow a keypress to be notified to a connected application. Apps on iOS and Android, applications on single board computers and desktops/laptops can connect to a Bluetooth Service Characteristic to be notified when there’s a key press. Connection suspends advertising and prevents the button device from being seen/connected to from other devices.


Beacons via
AKMW-iB001M and AKMW-iB002M Yes Yes Transmits the iBeacon or custom channel for 5 secs when the beacon button is double pressed. Alternatively, this beacon can be connected to, for example via apps, and single button presses notified.
H4YesNoTriggers on a button double or triple press.
iBS01, iBS04, iBS01G, iBS01H, iBS01RG,iBS01T, iBS03G, iBS03RG, iBS03TYesNoButton press is in the advertising data.
iBS02M2YesNoCan connect your own button.
M52 Plus, M52-SA, M52_SA Plus, M52-PA, U1, UL1 ThinYesNoButton triggered broadcast.
S1, i7, D15N, E2, B10, P1 PlusYesNoSet any of the advertising types to trigger on a button double or triple press
F6 Tracker BeaconNoYesvia SDK
MWL01YesNoAoA beacon. Button press is in the advertising data.
STiE10, STiE9NoYesLong pressing OFF does not cause the beacon to turn off but instead puts the beacon into ‘SOS’ mode where the configured advertising is stopped and the ‘SOS’ can be detected in the configuration app or your custom app and the ‘SOS’ state cancelled.
W2-P5202D3YesNoButton triggered advertising.
RC10YesNoMultiple buttons.
FSC-BP103YesNoAdvertises more often.
Puck.jsYesProgrammable to do what you want on a button press.
V.ALRT, V.BTTNNoYesDetect a short press, a long press or a fall. Can also be used with the V.ALRT iOS and Android apps that txt/call up to 3 contacts your location when button is pressed or the device detects a fall.

We offer consultancy if you need more project specific advice.