FAQ to understand beacons

Can beacons transmit a Personal Message to a smartphone or other device?

No, beacons just transmit their ID. The application running on the smartphone uses this ID to display the appropriate data to the user.

Do users need an app in order to interact with beacons?

Yes. Interaction is possible only if the user has a smartphone app with Bluetooth Smart enabled. Otherwise the mobile device will ignore any signals from beacons.

Does the app need to be active to receive notifications?

No! The app can run in the background, and users will see notifications on their lock screen (assuming push notifications are enabled). Users will also be able to see new content available even if the application is turned off.

Do beacons need an Internet connection?

Beacons (i.e. the sensor / transmitter) themselves do not use the Internet, as they only transmit their unique ID (i.e. UUID, Major, and Minor) using wireless Bluetooth Smart technology. The receiving device, normally a smartphone or tablet, uses this ID to display content or connect to the Internet and download content. So it's your smartphone, not the Beacon that will need Internet connectivity.

Do beacons need a Bluetooth connection?

Yes. Users need to have their Bluetooth turned on in order to receive content / messages via beacons, and their device needs to be Bluetooth Smart enabled.

Is there a limit to the number of devices a beacon can transmit to simultaneously?

No. Beacon broadcasts its signals continuously, according to the "interval" you set e.g. every 20ms to 10.24 seconds. It doesn't matter how many people are in range of the signal, because it does not affect the beacon in any way.

Think of it like a radio station. When a radio station broadcasts a popular show, it does not matter how many radios are tuning in to this show.

Can beacons be used outdoors?

Our standard Kontakt.io Beacons with cases are weatherproof but if you plan to install beacons for outdoor use, we strongly suggest you use our Tough Beacon, which is shatterproof, anti-static and fully waterproof up to 10 meters.

What operating systems are compatible with beacons?

All modern operating systems natively support BLE technology including iOS, OS X, Android, Chrome OS, Windows Phone, Windows 8, and BlackBerry.

What devices are compatible with beacons?

All the latest computers and mobile devices being sold today (and since 2011) already include Bluetooth Smart technology, and can therefore be used with beacons.

Checkout a complete list of BLE-enabled devices.

- 2017-10-19 20:34:02 UTC
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