UFO Beacons - FAQs

Troubleshooting BLE beacons

How do I check if my mobile device supports BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy)

Android

Android 4.3 (API level 18) introduces built-in platform support for Bluetooth 4.0+ LE (BLE)

iOS

All iOS devices newer than the iPhone 4S or the iPad 3rd Gen support Bluetooth 4.0+ LE, even if they are not listed below.

iPhones - iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X

iPads - iPad 3rd Generation, iPad 4th Generation, iPad (2017), iPad Mini, iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 4, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro 9.7", iPad Pro 12.9", iPad Pro 10.5"(2017)

My beacon is not working. What do i do?

Refer the below answers to troubleshoot your beacon based on the beacon model.

I purchased Odyssey beacon but I am unable to detect it on my phone? What is the procedure to get this working?

The Odyssey beacons come with a built-in battery and are tested before we dispatch them. In case you are unable to detect the beacon on the phone, please ensure the following -
  1. Make sure your device supports BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) and you have enabled BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy)
  2. Please make sure you have installed our UFOBeacon Scanner app on your device. You can install it from here -
  3. Now scan and check, you should be able to see the beacons
  4. If you are still unable to see the beacons in the app, please open the beacon as per the video here and remove and reinsert the battery
  5. Scan and check again, if the problem still persists, try inserting another battery.
  6. Scan and check again, if the problem still persists, contact us at [email protected] for further assistance

I purchased Endurance (V1 or V2) beacon but I am unable to detect it on my phone? What is the procedure to get this working?

The Endurance beacons do not come with a built-in battery. Endurance V1 beacons are powered by 2 X AA batteries (standard pencil cell) and Endurance V2 are powered by 2 X AAA batteries (standard thin pencil cell) -
  1. Unscrew the beacons and open the lid, and insert the appropriate batteries and ensure the batteries are working
  2. Scan from the app and check, if the problem still persists, make sure your device supports BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) and you have enabled BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy)
  3. Please make sure you have installed our UFOBeacon Scanner app on your device. You can install it from here -
  4. Scan from the app and check, you should be able to see the beacons
  5. If you are still unable to see the beacons in the app, try inserting another battery.
  6. Scan and check again, if the problem still persists, contact us at [email protected] for further assistance

General

What are Bluetooth Beacons?

Bluetooth Beacons are small devices generally powered by batteries, that transmit or advertise a fixed datapacket at regular intervals. Bluetooth beacons belong to the class of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices. This technology empowers smartphones and other portable devices to perform actions when in close proximity to the beacon.

How do I receive beacon notifications on my phone?

how-beacons-work.png, 331kB

Each Bluetooth Low Energy beacon transmits a small packet of data every "t" seconds. Data packet may contain some IDs or URLs.

BLE enabled smartphones scan for these signals.When a smartphone finds a beacon around, it can push a notification on the user’s phone and/or open a Screen/product info in the associated app

Cloud software stores the beacon repository and based on the customer’s location and preferences decides on the notification or content to be delivered on their smartphones

For example, when you walk up to the handbags aisle,it can show up the details of the bag on offer based on your shopping history and your current location in the store

Will I receive beacon notifications without Bluetooth being turned on?

No. BLE beacons work on the Bluetooth Low Energy and in-order for them to function properly you need to have Bluetooth switched on the mobiles device.

What is the range of a BLE beacon?

The typical range of a BLE beacon goes upto 88 meters (line of sight). The environmental factors play a significant role in signal attenuation and reflections.

What is iBeaconTM and EddystoneTM ?

iBeaconTM is a Bluetooth Low Energy protocol developed by Apple and introduced at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in 2013. It is based on Bluetooth low energy proximity sensing by transmitting a universally unique identifier (UUID) picked up by a compatible app or operating system. The identifier and several bytes sent with it can be used to determine the device's physical location,track people or assets, or trigger a location-based action on the device such as a check-in on social media or a push notifications.

EddystoneTM is a Bluetooth Low Energy beacon profile released by Google in July 2015.The Apache 2.0-licensed, cross-platform, and versioned profile contains several frame types, including Eddystone-UID, Eddystone-URL, and Eddystone-TLM. Eddystone-URL is used by the Physical Web project, whereas Eddystone-UID is typically used by native apps on a user's device, including Google's first party apps such as Google Maps.Though similar to the iBeacon profile released by Apple in 2013, Eddystone can be implemented without restriction. Eddystone also contains a telemetry frame (Eddystone-TLM) designed for reporting on a beacon's health, including, for example, battery level. Like other beacon technology, beacons with Eddystone can give devices a better indication of what objects and places are around them. Importantly, beacons do not generally accept connections from other devices, meaning that the beacon itself cannot record what devices are in its vicinity. In many cases, the simplicity of the beacon frame means that an app (for example Google Chrome) is required in order to interpret the beacon's signal.

Is iBeacon compatible with Android devices or Eddystone compatible with iPhones?

Beacons supporting iBeacon/Eddystone formats are compatible with all mobile devices having Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows that have Bluetooth 4.0 onwards support.

Can I develop an app without SDK?

Yes you can develop an app without the use of SDK. Though it may take a longer time to develop the app this way. The advantage of this approach will be that you shall have the freedom to work with multiple device vendors seamlessly.

Which Android versions support BLE?

Android 4.3 (API level 18) onwards, a built-in platform support for Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is available

Nearby Notifications

Refer the FAQs on Google Nearby here

OEM & Customization

Can I get the beacons in my brand/logo?

For Odyssey Model :

We can print your logo on the beacon, however, the MOQ for printing the cases will be 500 units. You can choose to buy lesser number of beacons but print additional cases which can be used in future.

For Endurance Model :

We can paste stickers in your Brand/Logo on the beacons.

For both the above branding options, we charge setup fees. For further details write to us at [email protected]

Can you manufacture a custom designed beacon for us?

We charge a development fee of INR 5,00,000/- for customizing beacon hardware. The following customization is possible for beacon hardware -
  • Adding new sensors
  • Adding a switch eg: ON-OFF switch
  • Designing a customized beacon housing
  • Designing beacons as per preferred battery selection

The above customization involves tremendous designing and testing efforts and the process may take a few weeks depending on the scale of changes. The following activities will be our responsibility -

  • Identifying appropriate hardware components eg: sensors, switched etc
  • Optimizing hardware for better battery life
  • PCB designing and prototyping
  • Die designing for the housing and performing die trials
  • Battery selection
  • Identifying required certifications if any. The certification charges are not included in the development fees.
  • Firmware customization if required

For further discussion write to us at [email protected]

Can you customize the beacon protocol? I want the customize the beacon's advertising packet.

We do offer firmware customization for the beacons and it starts from INR 99,999/- . The complexity of the changes will define the actual development charges for firmware customization.

For further discussion write to us at [email protected]