iBeacon is the Apple trademark for a low-powered, low-cost transmitter that can notify nearby iOS 7 devices of its presence. It uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), also called Bluetooth Smart, technology to transmit an advertisement that includes a universally unique identifier (UUID). Android devices can receive iBeacon advertisements and, fortunately for those of us who like to hack around, it doesn’t take too much work to setup a Raspberry Pi to emit iBeacon advertisements.
Why would you want to do this? Well, if the act of configuring a Raspberry Pi itself isn’t enough of a reward, consider some of the following use cases:
Host a digital scavenger hunt by placing iBeacons with different clues scattered around a conference.
Customize retail offers based on your location in a store and proximity to certain products.
Alert you while you sit at a bar enjoying your favorite craft beer when someone rides off with your bicycle outside.
I particularly enjoy the last use case. Simply tag your bag with a BLE transmitter and then, if it leaves the proximity/region, get alerted!
If you look around the Internet you’ll find hundreds of additional use cases and ideas. The point is, this is cool technology with a lot of different applications and uses.
In this post we’re going to look at how you can start to play around with this using that universal toy for the hacker: the Raspberry Pi.
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.