Pushcut for iOS Updated

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.

Pushcut is listed in our Solutions Directory.

Beacons Inside Products

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.

GPS Trackers with No Subscription

We have a new range of GPS trackers that allow tracking via SMS, the web or iOS/Android without a monthly subscription.

All the trackers support voice monitoring where up to three mobile phone SOS numbers can be set up. Sending a SMS code from an SOS mobile phone to the tracker causes the tracker to ring the SOS number so it can listen. In addition, the Q2 allows 2-way conversation. The AT1 and AT6 have a vibration alarm, with variable sensitivity, that alerts via call, SMS or platform when vibration is detected. The AT1 and AT2 can send an alert when the noise is above 60 decibels.

Tracking software is included for the lifetime of the tracker. Trackers supplied by us use the Microsoft Azure Cloud in Europe for fast connectivity, reliability and scalability. View devices, group of devices, maps, journeys and alerts. Remote control devices using commands. Set up geofence alerts. View reports.

Learn more at gpstracker.business

BBC Watchdog Beacon Investigation

There’s a video on Facebook where the Spencer Matthews from BBC’s Watchdog programme looks into beacons:

We were contacted by a researcher from BBC Watchdog as they wanted to understand the mechanism and were initially confused as to whether the devices in stores were receiving phone Bluetooth signals or the other way around, phones receiving Bluetooth signals.

What the video doesn’t say is apps are needed to see the beacons. In the case of Facebook this will be Facebook app. You can turn off Bluetooth for that app if you don’t want to be tracked. However, as the video explains, Bluetooth is only one mechanism. WiFi, GPS and cell tower data can also be used to determine location.

Getting back to beacons, Google has an under-promoted similar mechanism ‘Project Beacon’ tied to Adwords where you can work out if an ad caused a store visit.

3rd Party Introduction to Project Beacon

As there’s no official web site or information, it’s unclear if ‘Project Beacon’ is still active.

The BBC Watchdog video shows how many consumers see such adverts as intrusive and creepy. As previously with Eddysone URL, marketers are being too blunt, alienating consumers and it’s a turn-off. Instead they need to provide useful information and tools, not adverts, then convert the consumer to a sale. Marketers need to put in place marketing that causes the consumer to say, “That’s cool, I must tell my friends” rather than “That’s creepy”.

New Sato Beacons in Stock

We have a new range of Sato beacons in stock:

Most, except the sensor beacons, are waterproof to IP67. All the beacons can be configured to advertise multiple channels at the same time including iBeacon, Eddystone UID, Eddystone URL, Eddystone TLM, sensor (where available), acceleration (where available) and device info.

Sato beacons use the button in an innovative way. Instead of going OFF, the button long press is detected for SOS type scenarios. The beacon is instead turned off using the configuration app or programatically via your custom app.

Industry 4.0 SME

We have been involved in writing some articles for a new magazine site Industry 4.0 SME.

The site is targeted at CEOs, COOs, CTOs and innovation managers in Small and Medium size Enterprises (SMEs). It provides high level articles on the opportunities, strategies and technologies involved in Industry 4.0. It’s updated daily with the latest Industry 4.0 news.

Nordic Wireless Quarter Magazine Available

Nordic, the manufacturer of the System on a Chip (SoC) in many beacons, has the latest issue of Wireless Quarter Magazine. It showcases the many uses of Nordic SoCs.

News from the world of beacons includes:

  • Quuppa partnership – this might accelerate Bluetooth direction finding solutions
  • Beacons helping visually impaired
  • Beacons for robot perception and interaction
  • Beacons in restaurants