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iBeacons

 
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iBeacons

Post by archive_user » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:48 pm

I am thrilled with the functionality that is being added to roomie. i see that iBeacons support is experimental and that an iOS device can be used as a beacon, but will you support other beacon manufacturers? I purchased five for just this reason, location based triggers for automation. I got them from geohopper they are called bleu stations and they have a companion app called bleu setup to set output power and name them. They could be named room by room to have roomie trigger lights etc. do you have any plans along these lines?

thanks for a great product.

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Reply To: IBeacons

Post by simplecontrol » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:58 pm

There isn't any technical reason why this would not work today, we just haven't tested any of them. Because Roomie converts any iOS device into an iBeacon, that is something we feel comfortable releasing now.

At a technical level, the iBeacon UUID advertisement from Roomie is very simple. The UUID is the same as the random home UUID of your Roomie configuration – you can see this in the Contact Support email template for instance. The major is the room number plus 1, or 0 if no room advertisement. The room number refers to the room by index as listed in the rooms list. The minor shouldn't be needed for a stationary iBeacon. If your third party iBeacons are configurable, in principle that should work now.

Thank you.

 
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Reply To: IBeacons

Post by archive_user » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:26 am

Ok that's great and I can't wait to mess around with this. I am going to send a Contact support email, can you please tell me what UUID number I would type in my iBeacons as they are configurable. Thanks a lot. Matt

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Reply To: IBeacons

Post by simplecontrol » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:43 am

If you tap "Contact Support" inside Roomie, the email that appears gives you your unique UUID labelled "ID". That needs to be set as the broadcast UUID for any external third-party iBeacon.

Thank you.

 
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Reply To: IBeacons

Post by archive_user » Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:36 am

Very exiting new feature indeed ! Big thumbs up for Roomie.
What would be the cheapest option to buy some (~3) beacons ?
Can anybody recommend some options ?

 
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Reply To: IBeacons

Post by archive_user » Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:05 am

I played around with this last night, using an iPhone 4S as the iBeacon, and then my iPhone 5S as the roaming device.  When I walked close to the 4S, nothing turned on, even though I had an Entry Activity set.  If I went back into Settings, I could watch the distance decrease and change from red to gray as I got closer to the 4S.  I expected that when it changed to gray, thay was the trigger for the activity.  But nothing.

Any thoughts on what I'm doing wrong?

Also, is there any delay setting (kind of like an occupancy sensor has), so that, for instance, if I leave to go to the bathroom and then I come back, it doesn't turn everything off and then turn everything back on when I return?

Perhaps a video tutorial would be helpful, or maybe even a setup FAQ

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Reply To: IBeacons

Post by simplecontrol » Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:29 am

Red = Too Far Away
Gray = Near, candidate for Current Room
White = Near, Current Room

The iPhone 5S seems to have some issues related to iBeacon. That's actually the primary reason we have stated that this feature requires iOS 7.1. So we'd recommend removing that hardware from any testing of this for now.

There are several built-in thresholds to prevent redundancy of commands. We'll likely add some tunable parameters over time based on feedback.

A FAQ on this whole area will be posted after iOS 7.1 is available and we have verified that any known issues have been resolved by that.

Thank you.

 
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Reply To: IBeacons

Post by archive_user » Sun Mar 09, 2014 3:34 pm

I'm *really* hoping Apple sees fit to let you turn on an iBeacon service in a 3G ATV.  The hardware is capable, and this would be a very cheap and easy way to add iBeacon support to a room that already has an ATV.  Also hoping support is ironed out so nicely in 7.1 that these start rolling out en masse and get a lot cheaper if you have to buy actual devices.

 

 

--Donnie

 
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Reply To: IBeacons

Post by archive_user » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:26 pm

Quick question when using beacons, do both devices need to have roomie open for it to work?

Or just the device executing an activity for example.

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Reply To: IBeacons

Post by simplecontrol » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:52 pm

The way Apple has implemented iBeacons for now requires both sides are running the relevant app.

We think that is.... some kind of oversight. Regardless, we're keeping an eye on that issue and we have a good future solution in case Apple decides to keep it that way. It seems to us that Apple is likely to fix that. iBeacon is sort of like CarPlay, it's something that Apple is continuing to refine.

Advertising a Room can be done via external iBeacon transmitters, so that would generally setup either via a dedicated room based iOS device ("this is the Family Room iPad") or a dedicated transmitter.

Advertising a Device though is where you may want the advertisement to happen in the background. You could attach a physical iBeacon to your car, but in general things that move are not also running an app and unlocked. So right now it works for the Apple Store app because you walk around the Apple Store with your device in your hand and their app running, but Apple doesn't broadcast the advertisement if an app is closed – even though iOS actually does broadcast BLE advertisements with apps closed, just not yet iBeacons. (An example of that is the Kevo lock which uses BLE proximity and works with the app closed, but is not based directly on iBeacons.)

Anyway, again we have a good solution if Apple decides not to improve iBeacons in that direction, but we do consider that a bug in iOS at this point.

Thank you.

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