Using iBeacons to solve real problems

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A talk given at the Digital Conversations Evening Sessions Meet Up in March 2014 - how iBeacon technology can be used to solve real problems, and why sales and ad men should stay away.

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Using iBeacons to solve real problems

  1. 1. Beacons
  2. 2. With iOS 7 Apple released the iBeacon API
  3. 3. “Nobody cares until Apple does” - me, just now
  4. 4. Sales people LEAPT on it
  5. 5. BEHOLD THE JESUS STONE
  6. 6. A typical scenario
  7. 7. A beacon A bag An iPad
  8. 8. However…
  9. 9. A label
  10. 10. User Journey Analysis Before - Walk in - ‘Nice bag!’ - buy it - pub. ! After - Walk in - vibrate - get phone out of tight pocket - unlock phone - go to app - agree to the terms - read the guff - swipe a bit - find price - reject spam …
  11. 11. “That’s shit”- Ian Huckvale
  12. 12. Public service announcement
  13. 13. What is a BLE beacon?
  14. 14. Immediate Near Far In Region
  15. 15. Beacon Device Cloud
  16. 16. UUID etc UUID = The group the beacon belongs to (Design Museum, Tate Modern, Simon’s Pub, etc) e.g. E2C56DB5-DFFB-48D2-B060-D0F5A71096E0 ! Major = The sub group the beacon belongs to (Gallery A, Building 2, etc) e.g. 33995 ! Minor = The specific beacon (Object 1, Painting B, etc) e.g. 59204
  17. 17. Combine all that together and you get this ! d6 be 89 8e 40 24 05 a2 17 6e 3d 71 02 01 1a 1a ff 4c 00 02 15 e2 c5 6d b5 df fb 48 d2 b0 60 d0 f5 a7 10 96 e0 00 00 00 00 c5 52 ab 8d 38 a5
  18. 18. ‘Experiment’ and perform ‘research’ in work time?
  19. 19. Hack some beacons and the API to let you triangulate your position in 3 dimensions and measure the gap between them instead of just knowing which distance bracket you were in?
  20. 20. - (CGPoint)getTrilatterationCoordinateWithBeaconOne:(CGPoint)one beaconTwo:(CGPoint)two beaconThree:(CGPoint)three distanceOne:(CGFloat)dOne distanceTwo:(CGFloat)dTwo distanceThree:(CGFloat)dThree { CGFloat W, Z, x, y, y2; W = beaconOne*distanceOne - distanceTwo*distanceTwo - beaconOne.x*beaconOne.x - beaconOne.y*beaconOne.y + beaconTwo.x*beaconTwo.x + beaconTwo.y*beaconTwo.y; Z = distanceTwo*distanceTwo - distanceThree*distanceThree - beaconTwo.x*distanceTwo.x - distanceTwo.y*distanceTwo.y + beaconThree.x*beaconThree.x + beaconThree.y*beaconThree.y; ! x = (W*(beaconThree.y-beaconTwo.y) - Z*(beaconTwo.y-beaconOne.y)) / (2 * ((beaconTwo.x-beaconOne.x)*(beaconThree.y-beaconTwo.y) - (beaconThree.x-beaconTwo.x)*(beaconTwo.y-beaconOne.y))); y = (W - 2*x*(beaconTwo.x-beaconOne.x)) / (2*(beaconTwo.y-beaconOne.y)); y2 = (Z - 2*x*(beaconThree.x-beaconTwo.x)) / (2*(beaconThree.y-beaconTwo.y)); ! y = (y + y2) / 2; return CGPointMake(x, y); }
  21. 21. Can you turn every bluetooth device - every phone and tablet and laptop - into a beacon if it’s not Apple hardware?
  22. 22. Can you reprogram a commercial flight controller to hunt for a beacon signals and therefore build an autonomous flying drone?
  23. 23. Can you write a technology demo in 2 weeks for a MeetUp?
  24. 24. Can you get Apple to approve it?
  25. 25. NO
  26. 26. “technology demonstration apps will no longer be submitted to the App Store”
  27. 27. So what could all of you do with beacons?
  28. 28. Solve real problems
  29. 29. Some problems we have made in order of how I typed them that I’d like to see solved.
  30. 30. Problem #1 Our world is not inclusive
  31. 31. Problem #2 We are bombarded with fluff
  32. 32. Problem #3 Colouring-in is eroding design
  33. 33. However, using the flippant hacks from the start of this talk you could…
  34. 34. Build an audio guide for blind people which describes where they are, what is around them, and directs them safely to where they are going.
  35. 35. Track the flow of people through your spaces in real time and push this data to Google Analytics. Identify popular exhibitions and objects or areas of obstruction. ! Talk to people in specific areas in real time with notifications.
  36. 36. Connect teachers to school groups. ! Child leaves the building = your phone tells you.
  37. 37. Pre-plan a learning tour and let the device guide the group, offer up appropriate content, and mark off each area completed.
  38. 38. Start telling the story before your visitors arrive at your venue.
  39. 39. Make queues less dull.
  40. 40. Auto generate music playlists based upon the movement of the people on the dance floor.
  41. 41. And while your at it control the lights.
  42. 42. Build the biggest treasure hunt ever.
  43. 43. Just please don’t use it to make shopping worse.
  44. 44. Thank you

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