Connecting Smart Beacons to your PC or MAC
We have had a lot of questions about whether our Smart Beacons can connect to a PC or MAC which we have lightly covered in our FAQs. The short answer is YES. However, we would like to take a moment and expand on that for just a minute.
First, let us quickly take a closer look at the Smart Beacon. Our Smart Beacons use the BlueGiga BLE112-A Bluetooth 4.0 Single Mode module. This module has a built-in programmable 8051 processor and a built-in antenna. With this comes an open development platform that allows developers to create their own firmware applications. Smart Beacons make use of the BlueGiga module by providing power in the form of a 3V CR2032 coin cell battery and all of the pins to interface with it on our own very small custom designed PCB.
Ok, now that we understand the inner workings of the Smart Beacon we can discuss BlueGiga's BLED112 USB Bluetooth 4.0 Dongle.This dongle plugs into anything that is USB enabled. You can use it for detecting and interacting with Smart Beacons as well as testing your firmware scripts before flashing them onto a Smart Beacon. Most of this functionality is provided already by BlueGiga. However, we plan to offer a desktop widget that will allow for creating local and cloud connected interactions around Smart Beacon events.
Put simply, you do not need a mobile device in order to create interactive experiences around our Smart Beacons. If your kid does not have a smartphone, give them a Smart Beacon and let the USB dongle connected to your desktop computer, laptop or home server do the work letting you know when they have come home or left.
This functionality also opens up the door for personal networking applications like home automation and security. Not to mention all of the sensor and add-on module possibilities that can be connected to your Smart Beacons.
While our aim during this Kickstarter project is to provide Smart Beacons and a robust local and cloud connected proximity application, the expansion and development opportunities are nearly endless.
As we continue to see similar products with singular purposes, high energy requirements and staggering retail price points, we are committed to providing a single low energy platform that provides virtually unlimited uses while still being affordable.
Now you know! ;)
As always, we really do appreciate all of the support and feedback we are receiving.
Go team tōd!
Jon, Don and Michael