Have you ever thought “I wish I could get a notification whenever I’m close to something on sale”, or “I wish I could get notified when the next bus is close”. Well, the technology you’re thinking about already exists and it’s Beacons!

Beacons come in many different shapes and sizes, but are generally small wireless sensors that you can attach to any location or object. They broadcast tiny radio signals using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) which your smartphone can receive and interpret, unlocking micro-location and contextual awareness. This means if you enter a shop that has beacons, you can get notified when you are close to an item you’re looking for, or if there is a sale nearby!

This technology is available to everyone with a smartphone and the dedicated app. With the use of SDKs, such as Estimote, you can make apps that are able to understand their proximity to nearby locations and objects and recognize their type, ownership, approximate location, temperature and motion. Using this data allows us to build a new generation of magical mobile apps that connect the real world to your smart device. The Estimote SDK allows for app development on both Android and iOS.

To demonstrate the beacon capabilities, we prepared a presentation which gives insight into some use-cases for beacons, as well as some technical information and we’ve included a tutorial teaching you how to quickly code your own beacon-compatible app!

Check out the code on Github and Prezi Presentation.