iBeacon actions, apps, proximity, and ranging #iBeaconWebinar

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Why can an app not take action based on proximity? #iBeaconWebinar
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Devon

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Posted 4 years ago

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gail alston

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I was wondering that as well.  #iBeaconWebinar
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David Helms, Champ

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Hi Devon, Hi Gail,

Apps CAN take action on proximity, so if you could expand on your question, I would be happy to answer your questions.

David Helms
CPO Radius Networks
www.radiusnetworks.com
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John Gill

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I think this is more of a software thing and a fix will be soon if not can be done on the coding side.
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Rob Tippenhauer

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I believe you have to determine one is in range which would activate the App, then start listening for the proximity.  Once you get the proximity you want, then you can kick off another action.  It is just not setup to allow you to activate the action based solely on Proximity.
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Devon

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Towards the beginning of the presentation it was mentioned that, though an app could derive physical distance data, it could take no action upon it.
(Edited)
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Rob Tippenhauer

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The proximity is a poll, so you are constantly asking how far it is away.   The piece that activates the app is just is one in range.
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Devon

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So could the app react differently based on physical distance after it 'found' a specif beacon?

For example:
Could the app realize I was next to a specific museum exhibit (finds beacon), and give me info on the exhibit-
But if I got too close (perhaps within a roped off area where the beacon is positioned), the app could detect the close physical distance and react by displaying a warning?
(Edited)
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Rob Tippenhauer

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I think in the second case, the app would have to be running in the foreground (or possibly background) for it to determine you are too close.  Also realize the proximity is a Circle around the beacon, so it only knows you are 1m from the beacon in any direction.  
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Rob Tippenhauer

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On the iTunes app store, Estimote has a sample app that lets you see how these work.  It can even turn an iphone into an iBeacon for testing purposes.  If you have two phones, turn one into an iBeacon, then test the app out with the other.
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David Helms, Champ

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Ok, I think I get it now...

So, I think there just may have been a wording issue in the presentation. My good friend Matt had a lot of material to cover in a short amount of time.

Let me give it a shot...

An app that has been configured to look for beacons with the appropriate UUID, Major & Minor values will generally be doing what is called region monitoring. The region is determined by the values set for UUID, Major & Minor in an app, and an app can monitor up to 20 regions.

When encountering a beacon that is a match for a defined region, the app will receive an event called didEnter Region.

When an app no longer receives beacon advertisements for a region (and after a minimal timeout interval) the app will receive an event called didExit Region.

Both of these events also provide information about what region the event applies to and the application can take an action based on receiving either of these events. One of the most compelling features of ibeacons is that apps will receive these events, even when they are in the background or have been terminated by the user. So you don't need to have users running your app in the foreground for them to get notified and to take action based on these events,

Once the app has received either of these events, the app can also do something called ranging. The app can 'range' for beacons in a region and receive an ongoing stream (about once a second) of ranging events that detail the number of beacons currently recognized in the region and their proximity (Immediate, Near or Far) and their approximate distance.

An app can use this information for more detailed interactions based on the additional information provided by ranging.


Hope this helps.
If not, let me know what I didn't get across and I'll try to do better. ;-)

David Helms
CPO Radius Networks
www.radiusnetworks.com
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Revolution Wi-Fi

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David,
When you say "an app can monitor up to 20 regions" does that mean that any venue can only have up to 20 beacons installed and recognized by the app? What if the app developer has multiple venues, each with different beacons that need to be recognized and monitored?

I'm trying to clarify if there is a limit on the number of beacons and app can recognize.

Thanks,
Andrew von Nagy
#iBeaconWebinar
(Edited)
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David Helms, Champ

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Andrew,

You can monitor a lot more than 20 beacons. Check out my answer here for more detail.

David
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gail alston

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Thank you David for the clarification.  That makes sense.
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Devon

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So in the example I provided, the developer could make use of the three flags (Immediate, Near or Far) to keep track of the user's physical distance from the beacon, and could develop responses in the app accordingly?
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Rob Tippenhauer

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Not to keep pushing a competitor, but do check out the Estimote app on the itunes store.  Its a good use of how iBeacons work.
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Rob Tippenhauer

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But yes, but the app has to be active to get the proximity where range can activate the app.
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Devon

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Excellent. Thanks!
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David Helms, Champ

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Devon!

iBeacon subject-matter-expert achievement unlocked!

My usefulness here is declining by the minute.

David Helms
CPO Radius Networks
www.radiusnetworks.com
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Matthew Gast

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Thanks to David for jumping in and clarifying the difference between monitoring and ranging.  I've retitled the thread to reflect the answer.