2017-03-20

Using Eddystone beacons with CliqTags

Using beacons with CliqTags is a great and low cost way to provide context/location based information, be it for information and/or interaction, for the moment or over time. With Eddystone-URL it becomes much simpler.

What we are talking about is small wireless devices (as seen above) that can be placed wherever it’s relevant to provide information about that physical spot, that continuously send out a short message, that can be detected by mobile devices from a distance (10s of meters).

There are primarily two types of beacons used on the market:

  • Apple iBeacon, that set the ball rolling; CliqTags supports iBeacon via CliqTags Spotter
  • Google Eddystone, that provides added features, and specifically Eddystone-URL that removes need for a specific app

All larger manufacturers of beacons support both iBeacon and Eddystone, sometimes in the same beacons.

Eddystone comes in two flavors:

  • Eddystone-UID, that is like iBeacon in that it transmits an identity that needs to be interpreted into information or interaction, similar to iBeacon
  • Eddystone-URL, that transmits a URL, for navigating to that Web site, supported by Google Chrome on iOS and Android; this is what’s interesting for use with CliqTags

Eddystone-URL + CliqTags

CliqTags’ role

CliqTags…

  • …handles all the content needs, so after having set up a few Eddystone-URL beacons, you can focus on the content that should show up, and change it at any time, without the beacons being affected
  • …provides effective means for interaction, so it can be used for e.g. on-the-spot surveys etc
  • …collects responses from forms, that can later be displayed and exported in different ways
  • …provides detailed usage statistics via charts and lists
  • …links are short enough to fit in a beacon without having to use a separate link shortening service
  • …also supports other means, like QR Codes, SMS etc, to access the created content, for situations where beacons are not applicable, e.g. outside venues you control, in print, etc

Advice

  • Beacons are for the longer term, as usage requires some setting up and getting used to, but after that there’s nothing more to do for users
  • If possible, go for USB- or mains-connected beacons, so you won’t encounter the dreaded “battery low” issue on potentially 100s of beacons
  • Google doesn’t provide beacons, but there are many manufacturers that do, and we provide beacons via CliqTags Store
  • Be careful about line of sight: Don’t place beacons behind other things, as that affects the radio signal
  • Mark the beacons with the URL etc, to simplify later maintenance

If you want to use iBeacon and/or geofencing, we have a solution for that in the shape of CliqTags Spotter, also using CliqTags for the content.