To use beacons with the Plexure platform there are a few steps you must first complete for our platform to be able to recognize and utilize your beacons.
BLE communication consists primarily of “Advertisements”, or small packets of data, broadcast at a regular interval by Beacons or other BLE enabled devices via radio waves.
BLE Advertising is a one-way communication method. Beacons that want to be “discovered” can broadcast, or “Advertise” self-contained packets of data in set intervals. These packets can be collected by devices like smartphones, and running your apps on the Plexure platform can trigger push messages, app actions, and prompts.
Apple’s iBeacon standard calls for an optimal broadcast interval of 100 ms. Broadcasting more frequently uses more battery life but allows for quicker discovery by smartphones and other listening devices.
Standard BLE has a broadcast range of up to 100 meters, however that can be effected by environmental interference such as furniture, electronic equipment, human interference, or other obstacles.
Step 1 - Configure The Beacon's Identifiers
A BLE beacon is a very simple device that broadcasts its identity: a Proximity UUID (Universal Unique ID), a Major value and a Minor value. These are generally preset by the beacon manufacturer, however most beacons identities can be changed by "Flashing" the beacon. We recommend you do so to label, organize and identify your beacons as you plan the placement and layout of your beacons in your stores or venues. To plan the layout of your beacons, refer to the section "Planning your Beacon Placement & Layout".
Proximity UUID: This is a 16 byte string used to differentiate a large group of related beacons. We recommend if you maintain a network of beacons in a chain of stores for example, all those beacons share the same UUID. This allows the Plexure platform to recognize the beacon advertisements coming from your beacons.
Major value: This is a 2 byte string used to distinguish a smaller subset of beacons within your larger group. For example, if you have a number of beacons in a particular store, all those would have the same Major, allowing our system to identify exactly which store your consumer is in.
Minor value: This is a 2 byte string meant to identify individual beacons. For example a beacon at the front of the store would have its own unique Minor. This allows our system to identify exactly where your consumer is in your store.
(See your manufacturer's installation/configuration documentation for any specific needs of your beacon)
Step 2 - Verify New Identity Of Each Beacon
Use a beacon locator app to detect the beacon you have just configured the identity of. There are many beacon locator apps available. One that we use is the Dartle iBeacon Locator app for Android & iOS as it supports the major iBeacon brands. Using a locator app, detect your newly configured beacon and verify that its identity matches the UUID and Major & Minor values you set.