Trifork iBeacon Demo Lunch Talk

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Slides from a Trifork Mobile lunch talk about iBeacons on Android on 5/5-2014.

Slides from a Trifork Mobile lunch talk about iBeacons on Android on 5/5-2014.

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  • 1. Trifork iBeacon Demo Mobile Lunch 05.05.2014
  • 2. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
  • 3. iBeacons • iBeacon is a BLE profile specification formalised by Apple. It is not a standard. • It can work on all devices that support Bluetooth LE, not just iOS. • 2 primary use cases: Proximity and Ranging. • Works indoors.
  • 4. What is iBeacons
  • 5. Bluetooth LE Support • Requires a Bluetooth LE chip. Only newer phones/ tablets has it. • Windows: Phone 8.1 (?%), Lumia 520, 620, 625, 720 • iOS: 7.0+ (87%), iPhone 4s+, iPad 3rd generation+ • Android: 4.3 (14%), Samsung Galaxy S3+, Nexus 4+
  • 6. iBeacon protocol • Advertisement bluetooth package. • Mac-address is spoofed on iOS. • Proximity UUID: 16 byte UUID • Major: 0 - 65.535 • Minor: 0 - 65.535 • TxPower: Signal Strength at 1m from iBeacon.
  • 7. Detecting a iBeacon • Can make drive-by-detection hard. Battery matters on both ends. • Devices do not talk to each other. Phone simply listens to heartbeats from iBeacon. • Scan time and intervals should be non-regular numbers, eg. scan period of 1.1s. instead of 1s.
  • 8. Detecting proximity • Just check for existence of the right combination of <Proximity UUID, Major, Minor> • No guarantee that iBeacon is unique.
  • 9. Detecting range • Hard problem. Many scientific papers on the subject. • Water blocks bluetooth signals. Guess what humans are mostly made of? • Algorithm not known on iOS. • Thus only rough estimates -> Immediate, Near, Far. • Recommendation is to use relative range instead of absolute. • “You know if you are close to an iBeacon, otherwise you don’t know anything”.
  • 10. Code/SDK’s • Android doesn’t not provide a common API. Each app must implement it. • Androids Geofencing API doesn’t support iBeacons (yet). • SDK’s exist that make it easy: Estimote, Radius Network, Gimbal (soon?). • Demo app: ibeacon-demo
  • 11. Keynote now has animated GIF Support :)
  • 12. Lessons learned • Android Bluetooth stack is flawed. Crashes when it has seen 2000 MAC’s: issues/detail?id=67272 • When monitoring, battery impact is small. It is still noticeable over a day however. Scan intervals matters!!! • Ranging is very unprecise. • Exit/Entry into a region can happen very frequently due to scans missing the iBeacon.
  • 13. Links • • • bluetooth-profile • ibeacon-distancing • • •