Minew B7 In Stock

We now supply the Minew B7 wearable wristband beacon.


This waterproof (IP67) beacon offers the usual iBeacon and Eddystone advertising as well as acceleration sensing. This can be via x y z in the advertising or for motion triggered broadcast. This beacon is also one of the few that also has an NFC chip for additional RFiD-based sensing. The button can be used for on/off as well as button triggered broadcasting in situations such as lone working or SOS.

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W7 Security Beacon

We have the new W7 security beacon in stock, suitable for use in places such as hospitals and prisons. It’s fitted with a security screwdriver and advertises an alert if the wristband is removed or cut off.

W7 Beacon

The W7 advertises iBeacon and Eddystone as well as acceleration (x y z) and body temperature. It’s waterproof to IP67 and is rechargeable via magnetic USB cable. The battery lasts up to a year on one charge, depending on settings.

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New KKM Button Beacons

We have two new KKM button beacons, the B1 and B2 in stock.

Both advertise iBeacon, Eddystone UID, Eddystone URL, Eddystone TLM and battery level to a range of up to 100m. They support button triggered (single/double/triple/long click) broadcast for detecting in apps or via Bluetooth gateways.

The B1 differs to the B2 in that the button is labelled ‘SOS’, has a larger CR2450, rather than CR2032, battery and also includes a wall mounting plate.

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High Temperature Measurement Using Beacons

Beacons can’t withstand very high temperatures due to the battery that can only typically operate up to +60°C. If you need to measure higher temperatures, it’s necessary to use a beacon with a temperature probe with just the probe being placed in the higher temperature environment.

iBS03TP Probe -50°C to 150°C

This beacon is also suitable for measuring low temperatures, down to -50°C, whereas non-probe beacons are usually limited to -30°C due to the battery.

How to Read the AnkhMaway Sensor Data?

Since we have been selling the AKMW-iB003N-SHT  and AKMW-iB004N PLUS SHT we have been getting a few questions regarding accessing the temperature and humidity data.

You should first read the manufacturer’s SHT20 User Guide (username and password supplied with your beacon).

If you are connecting via GATT to read the sensor data then you will need to set the beacon to be always connectable. The way to do this is (for some strange reason) only shown in the iB001M user guide:


So if you wish to transmit iBeacon and remain connectable, set the value to 0x82. Note that if you subsequently set the beacon ‘on’ or ‘off’ in the ‘simple’ configuration screen, accessed via the spanner icon (Android) or Configure option (on iOS), then this will overwrite your set value.

However, you might instead consider reading the sensor data from the advertising data which a) is much easier to program and b) uses much less beacon battery power and c) allows multiple apps to see the data at the same time.

There’s also an iOS example app in the BeaconZone AnkhMaway technical area.

How to Calibrate Temperature Sensor Beacons?

We have several clients using the temperature sensor beacons in industrial situations. A question we have had is how is the temperature/humidity calibrated? For scenarios that require monitored temperature/humidity, it’s often necessary to show the readings have been calibrated over time.

M52-SA Sensor beacon

The long term drift of the sensor is <0.04C/yr and <0.5 RH/yr so in most applications it doesn’t usually need calibration. If you need accuracy better than this you will need to calibrate in the software of the phone/device that receives the beacon signal. That is, you will need to periodically measure the real temperature/humidity using another calibrated instrument and apply any offset to the read values.

Measuring Distance with Bluetooth LE

There’s a useful recent Webinar at Nordic Semiconductor on Measuring distance with the Nordic Distance Toolbox. The Nordic Distance Toolbox (NDT) provides ways to measure the distance between two Nordic SoCs. An SoC (System on a Chip) is the main chip found in beacons and Nordic is one of the main manufacturers.

The webinar covers the theory of distance measurement based on radio phase, RSSI, Round Trip Timing (RTT) and processing such as Inverse Fast Fourier Transform (IFFT). Practical performance is measured and the conclusions are:

  • Phase based ranging gives best accuracy but is range limited maximum range is limited to 8 to 10m (in the office environment)
  • RTT gives lower accuracy (Standard deviation 3.8m) but can be used up to the maximum Bluetooth connectivity range that can be several 100 metres
  • High precision with a median 3 filter gives the best accuracy (Standard deviation of 37cm)

The presentation PDF is also available.

Using the SoC radio to determine distance is power-hungry, relatively complex to develop and, as the above shows, doesn’t result is very good accuracy. If you want to measure distance it’s simpler, more accurate and more battery-efficient to use a dedicated hardware-based distance sensor. For example, the IBS03R uses a dedicated time of flight (TOF) sensor to achieve accuracy of +-25mm and a battery life of 1.8 to 2.8 years.

Beacons, IoT and Platforms

Our article on Beacon Proximity and Sensing for the Internet of Things (IoT) explains how beacons can become part of the Internet of Things. Most implementations need to use a server or cloud IoT platform. However, in working with clients we have seen many problems with most of today’s commercial IoT platforms:

Cost – Many aren’t financially scalable in that costs escalate once the number of sensors and/or sensor reporting frequency is increased. Future costs are also unknown and unpredictable which is unacceptable for many organisations.

Continued Existence – It’s still early days for IoT and it’s not known if today’s platforms will be around for as long as the project. Some early beacon-specific platforms have already closed. Others have been taken over by large companies that have other agendas.

Security – Many projects, particularly those with sensitive data, can’t be run on or through shared public servers, services or platforms.

Control – For some organisations, aspects such availability and reliability need to be controlled in-house.

Functionality – IoT is a nebulous concept covering many specialist areas and industries. It’s difficult for a given IoT platform to cater for all needs. It’s usually necessary to compromise on your required functionality. Many IoT platforms have limited alerts, analytics and dashboards because they have cater for the lowest common denominator and not provide industry specific features.

A solution to these kinds of problem is the use of open source IoT platforms. The current and future costs are known, there’s full control and you are free to extend in any way you wish.

Platforms such as ThingsBoard offer data collection, processing, visualisation, and device management. In the case of ThingsBoard it offers a secure, scalable solution that uses a Cassandra database that’s well suited for storage and querying of time-series data while providing high availability and fault-tolerance.

Thingboard Dashboard Showing Sensor Beacons

If you need more help, consider our development services.