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.
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!