Beacon profile: iBeacon

  • What is a beacon profile, which ones are supported and how do you switch between them.

Beacons use Bluetooth Low Energy to transmit very small amounts of data according to an specific standard using very little power. This data includes information that helps identify each Beacon among others and let the device act accordingly: trigger a push notification, message, etc. Kontakt.io complies with two stardards: Apple’s iBeacon and Google’s Eddystone. You can choose between them since firmware 3.0 and can switch profiles using our SDK or management app at any time.

  • What is iBeacon.

Back in June, 2013, Apple introduced their own Beacon standard and named it -to no one’s surprise- iBeacon. This announcement also included full support within their Core Location framework, which means most of the job, when developing a Beacon interaction for any iOS device, is already included in their framework. iBeacon is composed of three identifiers that will be constantly broadcasted just like any real-life sea mark does to help people navigate the seas; in this case, those three identifiers will help you navigate more precisely within any given physical context.

  • A proximity UUID (universally unique identifier), which is a 128-bit value that uniquely identifies one or more beacons as a certain type or from a certain organization. Here at Kontakt.io we use our default f7826da6-4fa2-4e98-8024-bc5b71e0893e.
  • A major value, which is a 16-bit unsigned integer that can be used to group related beacons that have the same proximity UUID.
  • A minor value, which is a 16-bit unsigned integer that differentiates beacons with the same proximity UUID and major value.

  • iBeacon - Use cases.

Due to how Beacons can help solve a proximity need in real-life, there are plenty of new ways they can help interact with end-users. Verticals like retailing were some of the first to adopt this technology to push relative information to their customers about offers according to their purchase history, but within context of whether they were actually looking at that specific item in their physical store. Museums have adopted Beacons to help bring people a more immersive experience when looking at an specific art piece by including more info about the piece itself, the author, as well as help navigate through the museum itself. iBeacon is perfect to integrate into applications already developed for this platform or wherever iOS has a deeper penetration.

  • iBeacon - iOS and Android support.

When Apple first launched iBeacon, they included full support on their iOS to detect and know an approximate distance to Beacons. Android, on the other hand, didn’t offer native support to do this but both platforms were already capable of working with different BLE devices, so it wasn’t long before we made available our Android SDK to help alleviate this. Since then, both platforms have been able to achieve the same level of integration with our Beacons.

  • iBeacon - Advertising packet structure and explanation

After 9 bytes of constant preamble, the Proximity UUID (16 Bytes), Major (2 Bytes) and Minor (2 Bytes) values are transmitted. Together they form an ID for your iBeacon. Mobile devices recognize which Beacon they approach on the basis of these values.

The final byte in the packet is used to calculate distance from the iBeacon. It represents an RSSI value measured at 1 meter from the iBeacon. The value of this byte changes automatically if the user changes the transmission power for the iBeacon. To see the different values you can obtain on our Beacons, please check out this article.


After 9 bytes of constant preamble, the Proximity UUID (16 Bytes), Major (2 Bytes) and Minor (2 Bytes) values are transmitted. Together they form an ID for your iBeacon. Mobile devices recognize which Beacon they approach on the basis of these values. 

- 2017-06-15 20:48:37 UTC
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