I am creating an app using iBeacon and wanted to know if any of you have experience with running an iBeacon initiative? I have been researching various beacon manufacturers like kontakt.io, radius networks, estimote and various others and wanted to also hear your experience with any of these companies and what you like, or dislike about their products?
Anyway, look forward to hearing your experiences and feedback.
I've got a desk full of various iBeacon hardware, and for the most part the performance profiles are pretty similar. The major differentiating factors to me are the enclosures, battery, and the SDK (if you're looking to use the manufacturer supplied SDK). Happy to talk more about the details of the hardware I've gotten hands-on experience with.
More then one! I am owner of community : Beacon iced on Google+! Check it out and find the best white papers, examples, companies: Estimote, Lightcurb, beacons tachtig, to me a few
Beacons essentially are transponders that provide a unique ID via Bluetooth to a compatible device. In practice, that means an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, since those devices have supported Bluetooth Low Energy for several years. But today it is hit and miss outside of iOS devices. Most beacons do little else than transmit their ID to a Bluetooth Low Energy device. An app on the device connects to the Internet to look up that beacon ID and pass that UUID to a back-end service that then tells the app whatever it needs. For example, device X might be in the men's shoes department at a Macy's at 123 Main St., Anytown, USA. The app could then list shoes on sale there, check online inventory for a shoe out of stock at that location, alert you when you're in a department that offers a product you previously placed on your shopping list, or provide your location to a store mapping app. Beacons are typically the size of a hockey puck and are meant to stick on walls or other surfaces. Alternately, they could be easily stolen or pulled off walls by vandals. Beacons are typically battery-operated. You must replace the batteries every few years and hope you do not miss a beacon in that survey -- or put a beacon back in the wrong location. The Brooklyn Museum has documented some of the physical issues with beacons in a compelling blog post. High-tech solutions include getting Wi-Fi or 802.16 beacons that connect to your LAN so that you can monitor individual beacons' status, such as battery level or whether it is still functioning.
Well, Bluetooth's short-range nature takes that challenge to a whole new level. You probably need several beacons within a small shop, corporate lobby, or department store section -- no single beacon's Bluetooth signal will likely cover all places your users could be. You may have to play with signal strength to reduce overlap, program the apps to look for patterns of beacons to try to triangulate to a specific likely location, or offer an ability to see «nearby» information so that a user can move to the correct item if the app detects a nearby beacon instead of the intended one. For basic beacons, you have to manually go to each beacon to ensure it's still in place, the battery is working, and the signal is found -- which would need to become part of your “open the store” routine.
It is like managing Wi-Fi access points, but with a lot more individual devices to check and track. The network-managed beacons can more easily be, well, managed, such as to update their firmware. Network management also makes it easier to update the beacon for new capabilities, such as to add Eddystone support or change the beacon IDs from Apple's UUID standard to Eddystone's standard, for upgradable beacons. All this networking management will cost you a lot more money. Beacons typically report only their ID string and a little context like battery level, so you might wonder what security needs exist. Major beacon providers typically offer ways to lock down the ID and authenticate changes based on a user's account information before allowing the change to occur. This is the kind of management IT does every day, but few IT shops will know how to do so for beacons -- not to mention the marketing folks who will likely ask for beacon deployments. Finally, there is the app that uses the beacon ID to deliver whatever information you intend. The app must be able to look up the beacon ID, so the device running it needs Internet capability. You may also want to download a local set of IDs to the app in case Internet access is disrupted, such as in subway tubes, store basements, and so on. The more locations you use beacons, and the more the things they are associated to change, the harder this information management challenge becomes. Beacons' challenges often involve more than one type, so the management can get even trickier. For example, a museum will have to reprogram the content for beacons used in traveling exhibits, whose artwork changes periodically.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call: https://clarity.fm/joy-brotonath