Wade Wegner demonstrates how to setup a Raspberry Pi to emit iBeacon advertisments.
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.
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