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Intro - BlueCats' Beacons as Cats

Last Updated: Dec 16, 2015 11:32AM CST

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacons are electronic devices that announce their presence to the surrounding environment - much like a cat meowing on a stoop...and henceforth our analogy begins.  

In BLE land, we call this meow an advertisement. Much like with a meow devices must be able to listen and care to listen before knowing the context of a beacon. Why would a device need to care what advertisements are important? In a world where dog collars and cars can be transmitting BLE advertisements, user buy-in before interaction is a must.

How does the device know what beacons are important? There must be software on the device waiting to intercept or parse advertisements and know what to do once these advertisements are heard. A beacon, like a cat, is only saying “my name is Neko.” It is up to he app to know what action to take once heard.

Meows and BLE advertisements are surprisingly similar - by this I mean that they are influenced by similar physical obstructions - chiefly metal and water. Much like our seeker of attention on the stoop, a beacon can increase its meow (transmit) power, what BlueCats calls Loudness, to reach someone further away and its meow (advertising) interval, what BlueCats calls Target Speed, in order to capture the attention someone moving by quickly.  In the BlueCats platform these settings can be managed remotely via interaction with the BlueCats' SDK and/or directly through our beacon management app BlueCats Reveal for iOS and Android.

To help with understanding what to do with different meows, we've have a hierarchy that somewhat represents a kitty rolodex. Upon learning the cat's name an app can reference beacon meta date to interact with the device user or record data. Because the rolodex is managed back at home base, you don't have to ask a cat to change its name to alter the interaction.  You can just change the notes for that contact and the app interaction is changed as well.

Happy purring!

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