BeaconViewer and BeaconBroadcaster are iOS applications that utilize iOS7's new iBeacons feature to provide easy access and creation of supplemental information for physical items or events.
Companies/people sing BeaconViewer and BeaconBroadcaster will not need programming knowledge or hardware (other than iPhones or iPod touch 5th generation). Created beacons function similarly to NFC, but have a better range and are live updating. The client app, BeaconViewer, automatically searches for Beacons in range and determines the closest beacon, displaying up-to-the-second information from the host application through a backend.
Beacon content is managed through Firebase. Information that is updated on the host side (from a broadcasting device or any other authenticated device) is instantly (less than a second delay) updated on the client's device without the need to re-approach the beacon.
Clients enter an Event Code upon launching their application. This helps prevent fake Beacons from hijacking a group. The event code also allows the client to download the appropriate information from Firebase.
If desired, users can replace BeaconBroadcaster with designated Beacon hardware. Both apps still functions the same way, as long as the UUID is programmed into the beacon. BeaconBroadcaster is always used to setup and manage active beacon information, regardless of the presence of dedicated hardware.
These apps have a very large potential in a variety of situations. Museums might use BeaconBroadcaster to create a beacon for each exhibit. Supplemental content could then be brought up on a user's iOS device. A beacon could be used inside campus maps on a university campus to provide directions directly to a user's phone. Because of the great flexibility of the Bluetooth platform, there is no limit to the amount of ways this technology could be implemented.
Because this application set is a proof of concept, it displays text only from the backend. It would be trivial to pull in entire webpages, images, sound, and video with minimal changes to the code.
Due to the separation of the apps, users can experience all BeaconViewer has to offer without being confused by complex menu items.
The best way to fully understand this project is to see it in action.