EKOOR Proximity Beacons

EKOOR Beacons are Apple iBeaconTM and Google Eddystone TM compatible Bluetooth low energy (BLE) devices that are exclusively powered by solar/indoor light. The light is harnessed by highly efficient photovoltaic cells on the Beacon. The beacons also consist of backup batteries to power, when sufficient lighting conditions are not met. As such it has the longest lifetime of any Beacon out in the market.

The average lighting conditions of a retail environment is >450Lux and all our beacons start advertising when the lighting conditions are above 200 to 250 Lux under default settings. (See INDOOR Lighting for average lux values recorded for different lighting conditions) .

Default Beacon Settings: Single Mode Transmission (SMT) is enabled to transmit either eddystone-UID or iBeacon advertisement packets with a scan response packet ( The configuration is selectable when purchasing Beacons from EKOOR). See graphs 1.0 through 1.7 to assess the average lighting conditions required for different packet combinations possible with EKOOR Beacons. (e.g: Eddystone URL + Eddystone-UID + iBeacon interleaved with a configurable interval )

The Beacons also use a smart power algorithm to change advertising intervals automatically to varying lighting conditions, so that the available light is harnessed to the best the device can. Our Beacons eliminate the unnecessary Beacon maintenance costs associated with changing batteries every few years as the solar panels + backup batteries could easily power the Beacons up to 10+ years with default settings.

Supported Platforms

EKOOR Beacons are both iBeacon and Eddystone compatible and can be configured to transmit either iBeacon, Eddystone or a mixes of iBeacon and Eddystone packets as described in (Packet Configuration) below. EKOOR Admin/Demo Apps can be used to achieve these configuration mixes for the Beacons as required. Beacons could be purchased with either iBeacon or eddystone-UID configuration from our website.

EKOOR Beacons are supported by all IOSTM devices that support BLE including Iphone 4S and higher, IPad 3rd Gen and above and Android Devices that support BLE and AndroidTM release version 4.4 and above.

iBeacon Compatible

iBeaconTM is a protocol standardized by Apple. iBeaconTM compatible hardware transmitters - typically called beacons is a class of Bluetooth lowenergy (BLE) devices. They broadcast their identifiers to nearby portable electronic devices. The technology enables smartphones, tablets and other devices to perform actions when in close proximity to an iBeacon.

When the device is configured to act as an iBeaconTM, it broadcasts two messages. The first type is called an “Advertising Packet”. The beacons continuously broadcast these packets with a certain interval (user changeable). The packet data contains some properties inherent to the beacon such as;

(See EKOOR Specs @ EKOOR-B/LR manuals for more information). Combination of UUID, Major and Minor (user Changeable) fields provide the beacon with a unique ID, which can be used to deliver any content (Notifications etc.) specific to that beacon from your (or our) back end (Content Management System) to an App. Often times the major and minor field are used to designate a retailer (major) and a specific store area (minor) and the UUID remains static, but changes from Beacon manufacturer to manufacturer.

The second type of packets called “Scan Response Packet” is broadcast when a mobile device which received an “advertising packet” requests for more information from the beacon. It can contain any custom payload data, such as store name, product name or other beacon related parameters such as battery info etc. Soon after sending a “Scan Response Packet” the beacon returns to “Advertising Packet Mode” and starts advertising.

EddyStone Compatible

Eddystone’s is a new Beacon specification format released by Google. The specification is open and is driven by the community of users. EddystoneTM serves the same purpose as iBeaconsTM but the specification can evolve with the community input unlike iBeacons. As mentioned above, our EKOOR Beacons could easily be configured to broadcast Eddystone compatible packets. Here are some of its highlights:

Cross-Platform Support: Eddystone offers cross-platform support, and is capable of supporting Android, iOS and any other platform that supports BLE beacons, which means that 90% or more smartphone users can use it.

Open Format: Eddystone is an open spec and the community can use it without being subjected to additional constraints. Furthermore the spec can evolve with community input.

Multiple frame types: Eddystone defines protocol implementations for several different frame types, which means that data payloads can perform several functionalities. Mentioned below are the different frame types.

See EKOOR Specs @ EKOOR-B/LR manuals for more information.

Packet Configurations

EKOOR Beacons can be configured to send iBeacon and Eddystone Compatible packets in following ways. The configuration can easily be changed by connecting to the device through its GATT based profile using our Android and IOS Admin Apps.

Single Mode Transmission (SMT)

Multi Mode Transmission (MMT)

Beacon Types

EKOOR currently sells two types of Beacons both powered by indoor light, EKOOR – B and EKOOR – LR. The main difference being the range of the two beacon types. EKOOR-LR is specifically designed to address long range proximity advertising requirements that would allow streaming of the same content to many users e.g: Sports Arena & Musical Concert

EKOOR-B

EKOOR-B transmits up to 50 meters and very comparable to other existing beacons in the market. The actual distance is very dependent on the transmission space and surrounding obstacles. As such the practical range will be limited to up to 40m.

It is powered by a photovoltaic solar cell and can begin advertising just when the indoor lighting is above 250Lux (See Lighting Conditions) under default settings. The Beacon also contains a CR2477T 1AH backup battery to power the beacon when sufficient lighting conditions are not met.

Note

Battery alone is able to power the Beacon up to 2+ years under 1Hz advertising rate and 75% transmission power. The Beacons can have separate profiles for i.) Advertising interval ii.) Interleave packet interval in "Multi-Mode advertising”, dependent on what power source used. As such the battery power could be optimized independent of the solar cell.

Fig 1.0 shows the working regions of the EKOOR-B beacon with different power settings, transmission rates and different lighting conditions applicable only for Single Mode Transmission (SMT).

EKOOR-B SMT Transmission Power Curve

Transmission-rates

Fig 1.0: EKOOR-B working envelope for SMT @ different lighting conditions using Light Only

Transmission (TX) power scale is from -23dBm to 0dBm shown as a percentage in the Y-axis above. The Beacon comes preconfigured with 2Hz transmission rate which is more than sufficient to be continuously detected by devices in close proximity to it. Furthermore at every transmission, the same packet is sent over three well separated channels of the Bluetooth low energy spectrum to overcome any RF noise issues (if exists). As you can see from the above graph, the beacon starts advertising at 200-250 Lux under default settings. Please note that the average lighting conditions in a retail environment is >450 Lux.

EKOOR-B MMT Transmission Power Curves

The Fig 1.1 through Fig 1.3 shows the working regions of the EKOOR-B beacon for MMT characterized by "Packet Change Over Interval" with different power settings, transmission rates and different lighting conditions.

Note

The same power curves hold for all MMT packet configuration types mentioned above.

For a change over interval of 2 packets

Transmission-rates

Fig 1.1: EKOOR-B: Dual Mode - Packet changeover interval #2 using Light only

The above power curve holds for a change over interval of two packets. e.g: iBeacon->iBeacon-> Eddys-UID->Eddys-UID->iBeacon->iBeacon->.... 1Hz transmission rate is preferable under this setting. Therefore the packet change over will happen in every 2 seconds.

For a change over interval of 3 packets

Transmission-rates

Fig 1.2: EKOOR-B: Dual Mode - Packet changeover interval #3 using Light only

As mentioned above, the average lighting conditions of a retail environment is >450Lux. Therfore a 2 Hz advertising interval is possible with this configuration that results in a packet change over at every 1.5 seconds.

For a change over interval of 4 packets

Transmission-rates

Fig 1.3: EKOOR-B: Dual Mode - Packet changeover interval #4 using Light only

The above configuration is similar to a "packet changeover of 3 packets" at 2Hz advertising rate. But here the packet change over happens every 2 seconds.

Note

Also note that any configuration is achievable by combining battery power with available light. But choose a configuration that does not or least dependant on batteries when choosing a MMT configuration for your Beacons.

EKOOR-LR

EKOOR-LR is a long range beacon that can broadcast up to 100+meters. EKOOR-LR can be used for applications where the same advertising content would be delivered over long range like in a sports arena or a musical show. EKOOR-LR just like the EKOOR-B is powered by indoor light with a backup battery that automatically switches on when sufficient lighting conditions are not met. Due to the long range transmission, this beacon uses a bit more power than EKOOR-B.

Note

The Battery alone is able to power the Beacon up to 1.5+ years under 1Hz advertising interval and 75% transmission power.

EKOOR-LR Beacons can also have separate profiles for i.) Advertising interval and ii.) “Packet changeover interval" in MMT, dependent on which power source used. As such the battery power could be optimized independent of the solar cell configuration.

The below image shows the working regions of the EKOOR-LR beacon with different power settings, transmission rates and different lighting conditions for Single Mode Transmission (SMT).

EKOOR-LR SMT Transmission Power Curve

Transmission-rates

Fig 1.4: EKOOR-LR working envelope for SMT @ different lighting conditions using `Light Only

Transmission (TX) power percentage corresponds to -8dBm to 8dBm. The default advertising interval is 995ms (around 1.0Hz) for EKOOR-LR, which would start transmitting when the lighting conditions are >250+ Lux. Other properties remain similar to the EKOOR-B Beacons.

EKOOR-LR MMT Transmission Power Curves

The Fig 1.5 through Fig 1.7 shows the working regions of the EKOOR-LR beacon for MMT characterized again by the Packet Change Over Interval, power settings, transmission rates and different lighting conditions.

Note

The same power curves hold for all MMT packet configuration types mentioned above.

For a change over interval of 2 packets

Transmission-rates

Fig 1.5: EKOOR-LR: Dual Mode - Packet changeover interval #2 using Light only

The above power curve holds for a change over interval of two packets. e.g: iBeacon->iBeacon-> Eddys-UID->Eddys-UID->iBeacon->iBeacon->.... 1Hz transmission rate is preferable under this setting. Therefore the packet change over will happen in every 2 seconds.

For a change over interval of 3 packets

Transmission-rates

Fig 1.6: EKOOR-LR: Dual Mode - Packet changeover interval #3 using Light only

As mentioned above, the average lighting conditions of a retail environment is >450Lux. Therfore again 1Hz advertising interval is preffered with this configuration that results in a packet change over at every 3 seconds.

For a change over interval of 4 packets

Transmission-rates

Fig 1.7: EKOOR-LR: Dual Mode - Packet changeover interval #4 using Light only

Indoor Lighting

Table: 1.0 shows the average thresholds for common lighting conditions. Please use this table as a reference guide only, as the lighting conditions may change from one locations to another. You could purchase a cheap Lux meter through us or from any supplier to detect the lighting conditions in your indoors to help with the Beacon deployment. The data below shows that our Beacons can comfortably work under normal indoor lighting conditions under default and other settings.

Lighting Condition From (Lux) To (Lux) Mean Value (lux)
Pitch Black 0 15 7.5
Very Dark 15 55 35
Dark Indoors 55 200 127.5
Dim Indoors 200 400 300
normal Indoors 400 800 600
Bright Indoors 800 4000 2400
Dim Outdoors 4000 9000 6500
Cloudy Outdoors 9000 20,000 14,500
Direct sunlight 20,000 100,000 60,000

Table 1.0 : The above data shows the rough thresholds for common lighting conditions: Please note that the above data may not be completely accurate for all situations. Use a Lux meter to help with the deployment.

EKOOR Beacon Platform

EKOOR Beacon Management System (BMS) is used to manage EKOOR or other ibeaconTM and EddystoneTM compatible beacons and the contextual information attached to them.

The BMS has the following modules;

User Management

An organization (e.g: Walmart) can have the following user hierarchy.

usr-Hierarchy

Fig 1.8: EKOOR Beacon Platform: User Hierarchy

Administrators

Below list outline the functions possible by Administrators.

Managers

Functions possible by Managers.

Operators

Operator functionality is listed below.

Note

The above user hierarchy allows organizations with single or multilevel locations to easily manage the beacons and actions.

Beacon Management

BMS facilitates managing of EKOOR or other Eddy stone or ibeacon compatible Beacons. The portal stores all Beacon related information and allows Beacon assignment to venues, users and actions.

Beacon properties

Beacon ID - Alpha numeric identifier (14 ASCII characters)

Beacon ID is a unique identifier for EKOOR Beacons and changes from one Beacon to another. Beacon-ID is labelled on the back of the beacon. It is used to derive default parametrs for a given Beacon.

EKOOR-B A XXX XXXX XXXX XX
EKOOR-LR B XXX XXXX XXXX XX
OTHER Beacons* [C - X] XXX XXXX XXXX XX can be used to add other beacons (eddystone or/and iBeacon compatible)

Note:X is an alphanumeric character

Fig 1.9: How to generate deafult beacon parameters from Beacon-ID

iBeacon related information

UUID of EKOOR-B* 0xA7156DCB-093E-B822-7ACA-0F9156EDF377 - Configurable
UUID of EKOOR-LR* 0xA7156DCB-093E-B822-7ACA-0F9156EDF378 - configurable
Major* 0 to 65535 (decimal)
Minor* 0 to 65535 (decimal)

Eddystone related information

Eddystone - UID (name space) EKOOR - B* 0xA7156DCB0F9156EDF377 - configurable
Eddystone - UID (name space) EKOOR - LR* 0xA7156DCB0F9156EDF378 - configurable
Eddystone – UID (Instance ID)* 12 Hexa decimals
Eddystone - URL* To enable physical web with web URL. (See Below)

Note

Eddystone – URL uses a compressed encoding format in order to fit more characters within the limited advertisement packet. The encoded number of characters of the URL collectively has to be less than 17 excluding the initial qualifier (See here for more information). As such the BMS will flag errors should the number of characters exceed the encoding criteria.

Advertising Interval

Smart Power

Battery AD Interval

Beacon Transmission type

This defines what packet combination(s) the beacon is configured to transmit

Multi-mode interval

This defines the number of packets to wait from one type to change over to another type in a Multi-mode transmission configuration (MMT).

This # can be between [2 to 255]

TLM frequency

This defines the eddystone TLM packet frequency: How often should the TLM packets be transmitted along with other identifier packets (URL & UID). This frequency can be independently set from the main advertising interval

Beacon Longitude

The exact Beacon longitude

Beacon Latitude

The exact Beacon Lattitude

Note

Connecting to a beacon will prompt you to synchronize the “physical beacon configuration” with the “Beacon configuration stored on the BMS”

Please refer to Beacon Manual for more information regarding the Beacons.

Venue Management

Venues are a physical place holder for Beacons. It could be a shopping mall or a retail store a Museum etc. There would be one to many beacons assigned to venue.

Fig 2.0: BMS Venue Management

Contextual Data (Actions)

The Beacon management system also allows storing and managing of location based contextual information for beacons. The following contextual information can be stored and retrieved for proximity advertising as required;

A single beacon can be assigned up to three different actions (contextual information) depending on the proximity levels “immediate, near and far”. The physical range values for the range literals can be set in the front end application (App).

Fig 2.1: BMS Action Management

Beacon Analytics

EKOOR BMS logs all beacon interaction data by venue, action (specific advertisement) and by Beacon ID. The BMS also provides tools to view and export powerful beacon analytics data to evaluate your marketing campaigns to see how successful the campaigns were run.

Fig 2.2: BMS Analytics

EKOOR Admin/ Demo Apps

EKOOR Android and IOS Admin/ Demo Apps provides the ability to ;


App Sequence

Login to the APP: Create a free account with the beacon Management system or if you purchased Beacons from us, you will already be sent credentials to login. Use these credentials to login to the Admin/ Demo App.

Fig 2.3: Admin/Demo App Login and Detection Radar

Detection Radar: After Login, the APP goes to a Beacon Radar Screen that would detect EKOOR-B and EKOOR-LR Beacons. The Bluetooth has to be enabled. The range to the Beacon is shown on the screen but azimuth angle is random as it cannot be measured by the phone.

Notifications: The Beacons are assigned contextual information. These can be images, text, video URLs.. Beacons can be assigned three actions for three range literals: Immediate, near and far. The actual range values for the above literals can be defined in the app. When the phone gets in to the specified range, the relevant contextual information is beamed to the phone via an internet connection from BMS.

Fig 2.3: Admin/Demo App Login and Detection Radar

Beacon Detection List: Both iBeacons and eddystones (UID & URL) of EKOOR Beacons and other Beacons are detected and shown as a list.

Fig 2.4: Admin/Demo Beacon Detection and Connection

Change Beacon Parameters: Clicking an EKOOR (both B and LR) Beacon from the above list will prompt to enter a password for the Beacon. The Beacon passwords will be sent when they are purchased from us. The following Beacon parameters can be read and changed from the EKOOR Beacons;