Beacon, BLE, and the Future of Commerce


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Overview of how PayPal uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) / Bluetooth Smart within the PayPal Beacon product, which we see as a piece of hardware aimed at revolutionizing physical shopping.

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  • Beacon broadcasts “who’s here” message in the proximity of the devicePayPal app wakes up, connects to the beacon, and requests a beacon token
  • Beacon selects an unused token from its cache & sends it with a cryptographic none, metadata, and signaturePayPal application verifies the signature with a public key embedded in the application, then decides whether to check in based on the metadata provided
  • The PayPal application encrypts sine data to check in, then sends the message to beacon, which forwards it on, uninterrupted, to the PayPal serversThe servers decrypt the data and check in the consumer
  • The server sends an encrypted message back through the beacon, uninterrupted, to the PayPal applicationThe application decrypts and verifies the response, then disconnects from the beacon
  • MICROS, NCR, ShopKeep, Vend, etc
  • Beacon, BLE, and the Future of Commerce

    1. 1. Beacon, BLE, and the Future of Commerce Jonathan LeBlanc (@jcleblanc) Global Head of PayPal Developer Evangelism
    2. 2. Connection: Continuous vs Intermittent Throughput: 0.7-2.1 Mbit/s vs 0.27 Mbit/s Power Consumption: 1 mW vs 0.01-0.5 mW Range: 100 meters vs 50 meters
    3. 3. Physical Shopping
    4. 4. Using the Location
    5. 5. How the Technology Works A transparent bridge from device to IP Central Device Peripheral Bridge IP Address Endpoint
    6. 6. A Person Walks into a Store
    7. 7. Broadcasting to Connect Beacon broadcasts who’s here message Device PayPal app wakes up & connects to beacon Bridge
    8. 8. The Initial Connection Beacon selects unused token, sends with nonce, metadata, and signature Device App verifies signature with public key, decides to check in via metadata Bridge
    9. 9. Checking in App sends encrypted checkin metadata to PayPal Device PayPal servers decrypt data and check consumer in Endpoint
    10. 10. Wrapping Things Up PayPal servers send encrypted message back Device App decrypts / verifies message & disconnects Endpoint
    11. 11. Point of Sale Integration
    12. 12. Don’t be Creepy
    13. 13. What’s in Store for Us?
    14. 14. Thank You! Jonathan LeBlanc (@jcleblanc) Global Head of PayPal Developer Evangelism
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