New in iOS 10! iBeacon For Printers

New in iOS 10! iBeacon For Printers

Posted by on Mar 13, 2017

Walk up to any printer with any iPhone or iPad and discover a printer instantly with iBeacons for Printers.  iBeacons for Printers were introduced in iOS 10 so that these beacons  broadcast printer discovery to nearby iOS devices over Bluetooth. When an iOS device running iOS 10 or later attempts to print, the device will scan for nearby printer beacons. The Bleu Station Printer Beacon responds with the network address and other information to the iOS device, and the iOS device uses that information to verify that the printer is reachable on the WiFi network.  If it is, the printer will be shown as a selectable printer.

In large organizations, discovering printers with iOS can be difficult since iOS will show all printers that are on the same network and are broadcasting AirPrint advertisements.  The iOS device may see no printers or may show dozens of devices, making it very difficult for the person who wants to print to select the correct printer. iBeacon for Printers solves this problem by broadcasting the printer location over Bluetooth to nearby iOS devices running iOS 10 or later.  As long as the iOS device can reach that printer over the wireless network, it can print to it.  This includes AirPrint printers or any print queue compatible with iOS 10 devices.

Interested in Deploying iBeacons for Printers?   Complete the form below and we’ll contact you. We have the expertise and the experience to make it work for you.

100,000 Cashier Button Presses!

100,000 Cashier Button Presses!

Posted by on Mar 1, 2017

One of the grocery store chains that use the Proxidyne Cashier button solution just passed 100,000 button presses!  Each time a cashier presses a button, an announcement is sent to the front end manager’s two-way radio, smart device or WiFi communicator, alerting them of the specific needs of a cashier such as “change needed, register nine”.  The button press event is also sent up to the Proxidyne Dashboard so the customer and the dealer can monitor staff usage, customer traffic and effectiveness of the system.  For example, you can see usage aggregated by day of week:

Or by how often each button was used:

The solution even monitors the battery level of every wireless button or sensor in each store in real-time.  Since the Cashier buttons securely communicate wirelessly back to our Dashboard, retailers and their service providers can monitor the battery level of each button and sensor and even view the historical data so they know when to change batteries which last for more than a year in most cases:

The Cashier button is just one of the sensors retailers can use with the Proxidyne solution.  Check out our Motion sensor to see how you can detect when customers are shopping in a specific aisle and dispatch a staff person to provide customer service.  Prompt attention increases sales, improves customer satisfaction and reduces theft as well!

If you would like to learn how our Cashier button or other Proxidyne solution can help your organization, fill out the form below and we’ll get in touch.

Automatically notify staff with our new Proxidyne Motion Sensor [Video]

Automatically notify staff with our new Proxidyne Motion Sensor [Video]

Posted by on Sep 29, 2016

When a customer walks into an area that has high value merchandise, use the Proxidyne Motion Sensor to alert staff over smart phones, tablets and two way radios.  Watch the video to see how it works:

 

 

The New Proxidyne Sensor Starter Kit [Video]

Posted by on Sep 29, 2016

I created a new video showing off our sensors and bridge that comes with our new starter kit.  Check it out on YouTube:

Amazon AWS iOT Button Deep Dive

Amazon AWS iOT Button Deep Dive

Posted by on Sep 5, 2016

I got an AWS iOT Button to take a look at. We discuss how it associates with the WiFi network, how it uses MQTT, public key cryptography, and the AWS iOT service.

Check it out!

Proxidyne iOT Cashier Call Buttons

Proxidyne iOT Cashier Call Buttons

Posted by on Aug 30, 2016

We are excited to announce our new Cashier Call Button, a wireless call button so your cashiers can quickly and easily call for assistance without interrupting the checkout process.  With a simple press of a button, a customized announcement is made over a two-way radio or sent to a tablet.  The messages are customized for each button and each cashier, so your cashier gets the help they need fast!

Learn More

change needed 125 Cashier needs change? Press a button and a customized announcement gets change there fast!
Alcohol Sales Are some of your cashiers under 21? Press the Alcohol button and an announcement is immediately sent and help is on the way!
Price Check Need a price check? Press the price check button and all staff that are available to do the price check are immediately notified. No muss, no fuss.
manager A cashier can call a manager over just by pressing the manager button. The manager doesn’t need to see a flashing light, but can be anywhere in the store.

Learn More

 

To learn more, check out the the Cashier Button page on our website or watch a movie about it,

IoT Fundamentals – LoRa and LoRaWAN

IoT Fundamentals – LoRa and LoRaWAN

Posted by on Aug 25, 2016

Great post by Paul Sabadin on LoRa and LoraWAN, for long range iOT communication.

…we see that LoRa has a star-of-stars topology and can span great distances, even over a single End Device link (on the order of 15 km), making the technology very IoT friendly.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/iot-fundamentals-lora-lorawan-paul-sabadin

 

Bleu Station Installation with external antenna

Bleu Station Installation with external antenna

Posted by on Aug 18, 2016

We had a customer looking for a solution to automatically open a gate when the owner’s vehicle approached. We helped him with a prototype of our new beacons and an external antenna.  Here is his experience.

Article written by Robert Predovich:

The Goal

We wanted to automatically open a sliding wrought iron gate at the entrance of a new home as the homeowners approached it within their vehicles. The “open gate” command is available via custom programming within SmartThings and attempts were made to use geofencing on their iPhones to recognize proximity and create a trigger. However, this proved very inconsistent and unreliable. The concept of using a locally installed Bluetooth beacon that would trigger an app on the iPhones, which would in turn trigger an event within SmartThings, was then considered as an alternative.

The Challenge

The location is near Toronto, Canada and so weather, especially cold and snow in winter, become a major issue with regards to determining where a beacon could be installed. Not having to rely on battery power that would be susceptible to a shortened lifespan with the cold temperatures was a significant design consideration. Therefore, an enclosed area that could be serviced with AC power was desirable.

The General Plan

The gate is controlled by a DoorKing unit that provides a user interface for visitors. The hope was that a beacon could be mounted within its metal enclosure without interfering with that unit’s electronics. This would provide the protection and AC power required.

Plan “A”

Initially a Proxidyne Bleu Station Series 100 Beacon was installed. The small size of the unit, even when powered via the AC adapter, was perfect. However, the metal enclosure severely restricted its range. Considering the homeowners would be in their own “metal enclosure” (their vehicle) as they approached the gate, the result was that there was no perceived benefit of an automatic reaction by the system to open the gate compared to their ability to manually trigger the opening of the gate as they arrived.

Plan “B”

When I explained the dilemma to Tim Perfitt and Russell Scheil of Proxidyne they recommended that I do an experiment with a prototype Bleu Station Beacon that had the ability to have an external antenna attached. In this way the beacon could be mounted inside the metal enclosure, safely away from the weather elements and powered via AC, with the dipole antenna sitting on top as illustrated by the photos.

The Result

The beacon range, which was only a few meters from the enclosure when the antenna was inside it, was increased to approximately 110 meters during testing when walking away from it. Although the range during normal use is expected to be reduced by the fact that the iPhones will still be within a metal vehicle as they approach, the external antenna has made this concept a practical solution for us.

 

Thanks for the great writeup, Bob!

Here is a photo of our Series 360 Beacon with external antenna, powered over mini USB or 2 AA batteries:

360 External Antenna 2

If you are interested in an external antenna for your iBeacon application, or more information about our beacons and bluetooth devices for deployment, get in touch!

 

 

iOT Candy Machine to give out Skittles with new Twitter Followers

Posted by on Aug 3, 2016

 

Demo and explanation of how I created an iOT candy machine that gives out skittles whenever someone follows us on twitter (@proxidyne). Links mentioned in the video below.

Links:
Proxidyne: http://proxidyne.com
Series 360 Relay: http://www.proxidyne.com/project/relay/
Candy Dispenser at Amazon (affiliate link): http://amzn.to/2auvVSz
Source Code: https://bitbucket.org/tperfitt/iotcandymachine

(Thanks to Jose Marcelino @jmarcelino for the idea from his tweet https://twitter.com/jmarcelino/status/724155310307467264 )

The Big iBeacon Announcement You Missed from WWDC 2016

The Big iBeacon Announcement You Missed from WWDC 2016

Posted by on Jun 17, 2016

There was no mention of iBeacon in the WWDC 2016 keynote but there was an update in a related Apple technology shown in the beta Server software that is going to radically change the beacon landscape. First, some background.

iBeacon is a protocol released by Apple that lets an iPhone detect a nearby Bluetooth device that is transmitting the iBeacon protocol. When an iPhone is in proximity to these Bluetooth devices that support the iBeacon protocol, an app that is registered with iOS to be notified when nearby to this beacon is notified and can do lots of interesting things with this information. One of the  biggest feature of iBeacon support in iOS is that it can launch an app in the background that has registered for that iBeacon info, and it processes that info in the background, even if the iPhone is at the lock screen. This feature is used by our Geohopper  app and lots of others.

We have been working organizations to implement solutions with iBeacon technology, and we have been deploying it in museums, retail stores, for home automation, and more. One of the most potentially powerful areas that we have been working with customers is to change settings on the iPhone when in range of a beacon with Mobile Device Management (MDM). For instance, turning off the camera when in a school locker room. Or removing a document when leaving a meeting. While we are able to trigger setting changes when in range or out of range of a beacon, it has not been possible to ensure that this policy is enforced because the user could just turn off Bluetooth and no beacons would be detected. This is all changing in iOS 10.

In iOS 10, Apple is introducing a new policy key called “allowBluetoothModification” in MDM policy that can be set to true or false. The current beta version of Server shows the key for iOS in Profile Manager. It is identified as “Allow modifying Bluetooth settings (supervised mode) ”. Once this key is set to false, the user cannot turn off Bluetooth and the device will always be notified when in range of a beacon to trigger a change in policy settings on the device.

screenshot

The device must be in supervisor mode, so this setting is most applicable to organizationally owned iPhones and iPads (though as a parent, it may be helpful at home as well, like disabling texting while driving).

This represents a huge change to how iPhones and iPads can be managed. They can specify certain policies based on very close proximity, like AirPlay selection, select the apps that are available, the WiFi networks to select, and much more.

And this makes our Trusted Beacon even more powerful.  For example, if an enterprise wants to use location as a second trusted factor in authentication, they can use our trusted beacon to validate that the beacon is really owned by an organization.  With this new MDM setting, they can be secure knowing the Bluetooth will always be on.  Read more about Trusted Beacon on the Trusted Beacon page.

And if you are interested in MDM and iBeacon, check out The next iBeacon frontier: Mobile Device Management posting.  Try it out as well by purchasing the best beacons out there from our store.  Or get in contact with us and learn more about using our iBeacons for setting MDM policy.