Today, we came across the first IP telephone, by Unify, with in-built Eddystone:
You might wonder why you might want to transmit a URL or Eddystone id from a telephone. Maybe it could point to instructions how to use the phone or more details on the person who sits at that desk. However, you probably need to think wider and imagine it as a beacon that could be providing information about anything in the surrounding area – think indoor maps, indoor navigation or how to find the nearest ‘whatever’. For example, if the telephone belongs a restaurant it could be sending out the URL of a menu or a site with self-service ordering. In some ways it’s similar to the Cisco Meraki WiFi access point in that installing something ubiquitous like a phone or WiFi access point provides the opportunity to also easily create a beacon network.
We expect to see beacons being embedded in a larger range of electronic devices.
We have a new very long range beacon that uses a range extension power amplifier circuit to reach 200m outdoors and 50m indoors. This beats the Forecum 201 that previously held the record for the longest range in our BeaconZone tests.
The beacon is powered by 2 AA batteries and can be mounted on the wall with the supplied screws or 3M sticker.
We now have a some watch style beacons in stock. They transmit iBeacon and the ‘face’ is small at 2.5cm. Internally, they use a Dialog DA14580 that’s the most power efficient chip for beacon solutions and have x6 the battery life of TI CC254x based-beacons.
We have started selling the twin AA battery AKMW-iB004N AA. It works the same way as other AnkhMaway beacons in that to configure it you tap it onto a table or something hard to make it ‘ring’.
It’s also worth mentioning that this and all AnkhMaway beacons come with Panasonic rather than cheaper Chinese brand batteries.
The PC023E is back in stock. It’s our least expensive waterproof beacon, part of our R&D range, that supports both iBeacon and Eddystone. The loop at one end and its good looks make it suitable for use as a wearable beacon. There’s also a coin operated compartment at the back that makes it easy to change the battery.
We have a few Jnhuamao HM-10 come into stock. The HM-10 is a bare board beacon that you can configure via UART. You can either embed it in your electronic project or set it up via the desktop using a USB to TTL RS232 serial adapter. Once set up, it behaves just like an iBeacon.
We went to great lengths to source a genuine HM-10 as there are many fakes around that aren’t fully functional. There will be more coming into stock towards the end of the week and we will continue to stock if popular.
There have been a number of enquiries asking which beacons support iBeacon and Eddystone simultaneously. We have added a new ‘simultaneous’ category on the store.
Note that, in actual fact, no beacon can send iBeacon and Eddystone simultaneously and instead the advertising data is sent in two channels one very shortly, milliseconds, after the other.
Eddystone is becoming more popular and companies are starting to use Eddystone-URL to lead users to download apps that, in turn, use the iBeacon protocol.
We were all waiting for Android Chrome 49 to go from beta to release so more people would gain access to the Physical Web. Well, it’s happened and it appears the new feature didn’t make the release! If you go to Chrome settings there’s no Physical Web setting like there was in the beta version.
Asking some Googlers, I found that you can enable it by going to chrome://flags in the browser. Search for ‘Enable the Physical Web’ and enable it:
The browser will restart and you will now also have a Physical Web entry in Chrome settings.
While it works, it won’t help take up that it’s so hidden.
Latest: From Scott Jenson, Google Project Lead for the Physical Web, the Chrome team is just being careful. It’ll roll out to 100% of users in 2 weeks. This mirrors what they did in Beta.