New Thin Beacons in Stock

We have two new thin beacons in stock. The Meeblue U1 and UL1 are only 4.8mm x 45mm x 25.5mm and weigh only 7g.

These beacons are similar to the iB001M in that they are particularly suitable for wearing by humans or animals. These new models have twice the battery power of the iB001M and use the more battery efficient Nordic Semiconductor nRF52 series system on a chip (SoC).

An accelerometer can be used to provide for motion triggered advertising. The accelerometer is only used for motion triggered broadcast and has adjustable movement threshold. They can also be set up to only advertise when the button is pressed. Advertising can be iBeacon, Eddystone UID, Eddystone URI or user defined. In addition, the UL1, has a light sensor that can be set up to cause the beacon to advertise when it’s either dark or light.

Detecting Movement With Beacons

There are various types of movement that can be detected by beacons:

Movement between zones – This is large scale movement between, for example, rooms. This relies on devices detecting the beacons and relaying the information to software that, stores historical location, plots positions and creates alerts. This is the basis for Real Time Locating Systems (RTLS).

Movement from stationary – This is when something goes from being stationary to moving. There are two ways to do this. You can look at the xyz from a beacon accelerometer to determine it has started moving. Alternatively, some beacons such as the iB003 have motion triggered advertising so you will only see the beacon when it moves.

Falling – Again you can look at the xyz from a beacon accelerometer to determine a beacon is falling. Alternatively, you can use a more intelligent beacon such as the iBS01G that does this for you and just gives indications of a start/during/end of a fall as values in the advertising data.

Vibration – The xyz can be used to determine the degree of the movement and hence vibration.

Posture detection – This is more advanced analysis of the xyz that works out, for example, if someone is walking, running, sitting or standing. Another use is the analysis of sports (e.g. golf, squash, tennis, badminton) swings to determine the type of movement and score the movement.

There also scenarios outside the above that are also possible. For example, we had a customer wanting to know if their forklift truck hadn’t been moving for 2 minutes so as to make best use of it.

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How to Set Up iB003N Motion Triggered Broadcast?

The iB003N has an accelerometer that can be used to cause this beacon to only broadcast when it has been moved. This can be used to save battery power or as an alert that something, that shouldn’t move, has been moved. For example, we have a customer putting them on warehouse racking legs to detect when the forklift truck has crashed into them.

The iB003N manufacturer documentation on motion triggered broadcast is split over many sections of the user guide making understanding setup harder than it needs to be. In fact, it’s very simple. Connect to the beacon using the eBeacon app and set Service 0xFF70, Characteristic 0x2A80 (the beacon state) to 0x04. The beacon will now only transmit when moved.