BLE Beacons, Eddystones, Physical Web

As part of my art sculpture I’m exploring the use of beacons, so thought I’d share some of what I’ve learned here.

Part of my interest, as I work with embedded computing, has been inspiring projects like this one by Aram Bartholl He’s one of my heroes by the way, check out his blog

  • very small device (two quarters stacked), low power reqs (coin battery) lasting a long time (up to 3 years!) + chipset + antenna (230’ range)
  • BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) is the way to go, cheaper, lower energy
  • stores use it to push info to shoppers, get help
  • The Physical Web uses open source communication protocol called Eddystone to communicate - don’t need to d/l an app, works across all devices. There are beacons avail. that support both iBeacon and Eddystone : in the previous you’d need to d/l a specific app, for the latter, just open a browser that supports TPW (The Physical Web) to see same content.

Reading this, I just installed ‘Physical Web’ on my Android phone.

To explore this, you would use a BLE beacon that supports the Eddystone protocol, this will allow you to broadcast an URL. That URL can be picked up by a phone or such. Hmmmmm…

React Native Wrapper

Running this example started the react-native server, but did require an Android SDK to be installed. Not to that point yet…