What Can RECO Tracking Do?

Our new solution, ‘RECO Tracking’, can be applied in diverse scenarios, main focuses being ‘Asset Tracking’ and ‘People Tracking’.

On this post, we are going to explain how and when we can track either asset or people.


tracking people
Location of specific people in certain areas enables effective control and management on restricted or important region.

RECO Tracking Application

– 1. Tracking moving objects (Asset Tracking).

RECO Tracking can have a broad application in diverse industry sites. Simply by attaching beacons to any moving objects, you can get informed whether the objects are currently located in specific regions where the RECO Manager Pluses are installed.

For example, if a fork lift truck with a beacon is carrying a certain inventory, both the fork lift and the inventory can be tracked through the RECO Tracking solution.

 RECO Tracking Application

– 2. Tracking people.

The same algorithm can be applied to locate people. The knowledge on location of specific people in certain areas enables effective control and management on restricted or important region. Real time information on the existence of people in dangerous area can dramatically lower the chance of accidents in construction sites, per se.

The possibility extends beyond mere industrial sites: even in theme parks or hospitals, RECO Tracking can provide an effective solution for keeping an eye on children or patients in demand for special care. RECO Tracking is serviceable not only with RECO Beacons, but also with any other beacon or Bluetooth devices. If a specific need for the shape of beacon such as ID card or wearable wrist band is required, RECO Team is more than happy to discuss with you.*

* For any customization inquiries, please contact us at biz@perples.com

 RECO Tracking marks a significant milestone on how the beacons can be applied to use, as beacons can now evolve and become much more than just a marketing media.

Please contact us at biz@perples.com or through the link below and become a part of this evolution.

Android Configuration App Now Supporting Eddystone Setting!

Our RECO Configuration App for Android has been completely renovated. Check out the below for the updated features!

 New Feature 1. Complete Eddystone Support.

Eddystone Support Android Configuration App
Configuration App screen for Eddystone Setting

Former RECO Configuration App for Android did not support setting beacons in Eddystone format. However, with the new version of RECO Configuration App for Android, you can now set your RECO Beacons to send out Eddystone format packets in Android devices also.

 New Feature 2. Device Firmware Update through Configuration App.

To set beacons in Eddystone format, RECO Beacon firmware should be updated from v2.0 to v3.0, and this can be also done through the Configuration App.

(However, as the firmware v3.0 can only be applied to RECO Beacons whose serial number starts with 5, the old version RECO Beacons that has serial number starting with 140 do not support Eddystone format.)
firmware updates for broadcasting Eddystone
Configuration App screen for RECO Beacon firmware update

As you can see from the screenshots above, the formerly non-existing ‘Broadcast Mode’ field appears after the firmware update to v3.0. This field lets you choose between iBeacon, Eddystone-UID, Eddystone-URL modes. The detailed values for each broadcasting mode can also be set from this screen.

New Feature 3. UI Improvements.

  •  3-1. Beacon List UI

We’ve updated the beacon list UI so that you can check the beacon settings from the list screen, without having to connect to each device. The beacon list shows following information for each advertising mode.

broadcast_ibeacon
Beacon list example of an iBeacon.

For iBeacon mode:

MAC address, SN(Serial Number), RSSI, Battery Level(High/Low), TX(Transmitted Signal Power), Interval(Signal Transmission Interval) and UUID/Major/Minor

broadcast_edyuid
Beacon list example of an Eddystone-UID

For Eddystone-UID mode:

MAC address, SN(Serial Number), RSSI, Battery Level(High/Low), TX(Transmitted Signal Power), Interval(Signal Transmission Interval) and UID

broadcast_edyurl
Beacon list example of an Eddystone-URL.

 For Eddystone-URL mode:

MAC address, SN(Serial Number), RSSI, Battery Level(High/Low), TX(Transmitted Signal Power), Interval(Signal Transmission Interval) and URL

 

  •  3-2. Beacon Sorting Option

Now you can sort the scanned beacons in two ways: by RSSI and by S/N. When sorted by RSSI, the beacon list arranged so that the closest beacon comes up first. When arranged by S/N, the beacon with smallest S/N is shown on top.

beacon_list
By the beacon sorting button, you can arrange the beacon list by either RSSI or S/N.
  • 3-3. Convenient Passcode Input

We’ve heard many complaints about the short time window for entering the passcode in some Android devices. Thus, to enhance user experience, we have increased the passcode input time window. Also, now you don’t have to re-enter the passcode every time you try to change the settings of a beacon; typing it in once will let you change all the settings without the hassle.

You can see the passcode for each beacon when you register the beacon on RECO Member Center. Registration requires the S/N(Serial Number) and CC(Confirmation Code) of the beacon, which are attached at the back side of the beacon. You can make changes of beacon settings only when you have the passcode with you.

Also, diverse supporting materials such as configuration app download link and detailed instructions on the configuration app are available in RECO Member Center.

We’ve listed the changes in Configuration App for Android devices. The Configuration App can be downloaded from either RECO Member Center or Google Play Store.


 

For any business opportunities or partnership regarding beacon or SoundTAG, feel free to contact us at biz@perples.com or through our homepage.

We are Launching a New Solution, RECO Tracking!

Based on the Real Time Scanning function of RECO Manager Plus*, we have developed a new solution, RECO Tracking. We will let you know what this exciting new solution is in this post.

* Check out the link for detailed explanations on the functions of RECO Manager Plus!

What is RECO Tracking?

RECO Tracking is a BLE(Bluetooth Low Energy) based asset/people tracking solution. You can get real time data on the moving beacons in certain regions.

Asset/People Tracking
Asset & People Tracking Solution Overview

Although you can get informed whether a beacon has entered or exited certain area, it is not possible to pin-point the location or track down the movement of the beacons within each area.

As seen in the figures above, you can track down the movements by the regions but not within one region.

 

What is required for RECO Tracking service?

For RECO Tracking, you need RECO Manager Plus for the Real Time Scanning functionality, along with any other BLE transmitting device. This BLE device can be any beacon or device that sends out BLE signals, and need not be the RECO Beacon.

 

What detailed functions does RECO Tracking provide?

Here are some of the features of RECO Tracking.

  • Filtering: Get informed only of certain beacons by filtering function.
  • Region Setting: Set up and visualize the regions to be monitored.
  • Real Time In/Out Monitoring: Sends In/Out data of each beacon to a designated server.

Moreover, with the key products such as RECO Beacon, RECO Manager Plus, SoundTAG, and RECO Tracking, we are always looking for exciting business opportunities. Feel free to contact us at biz@perples.com if you have anything exciting to work on together.

Bluetooth Beacons Increased Message Open Rate by 90%

You all may know location-based push messages, mostly distributed by beacons record higher message open rate than other general push messages including SMS or timed push messages.

Though internally used among employees at Yello O2O, Club Yello app recorded almost 90% of push message open rate.

This is what visitors will get upon their arrival at company cafe, ClubYello. Everyone gets an alert immediately entering the cafe region, so they can expect a win/lose giveaway before placing an order.

Initially designed and distributed for beta, RECO Team didn’t even expect the open rate to be this effective.

Then, we thought about what made this app to be this popular.

Two main reasons, but with a little bit of twist:

1. Coupons: With expiration date, yet given every day.

  • Though the visitors could receive a coupon every day, it didn’t mean that they could always win free coffee coupon. This rather encouraged people to keep their eyes on the push message alert, and contributed to a higher open rate.
  • If used effectively, the logs collected could be analyzed and you can design a more effectively personalized, and target-focused scenario based on the target behavior.

 

2. Word of mouth (about Bluetooth!)

  • Not many people in Korea are familiar with Bluetooth nor BLE beacons nor have needs for having the Bluetooth turned on all the time.
  • But since the visitors could receive alerts on a daily basis, people who voluntarily turn on Bluetooth encourage other to install and participate. Eventually the scenario alone ‘persuaded’ people to voluntarily participate in the event.

 

The success of the app was brought by inducing right customer behavior with proper reward, timed at a very expected time (immediately after their arrival to cafe).

And the 90% didn’t even come from retargeting; which opens up a wider possibility for a higher end-user engagement and more cost-effective service for providers.

Want to apply this to your business as well? Email us at biz@perples.com and we’ll get back to you shortly.

Introducing SoundTAG: the Ultrasound Solution.

SoundTAG is a ultrasound solution that is own-developed and patent-held by PERPLES (RECO). And it is one of our initial projects that we’ve launched as we kick-started our own business.

And we’re bringing it back to expand our service areas beyond Bluetooth.

So, What is SoundTAG and why does it matter?

SoundTAG, a high frequency sound tagging solution, is a smartphone software that can transmit information to smartphones by using ultrasound*.

*: 18,000~20,000hz. inaudible for people but detectable for smart devices.

Signal Range:
The range of SoundTAG technology depends on the volume of a signal. Technically, the capacity ranges from 10cm~100 meters, according to the volume level. The specs and performance of a speaker is also an element that contributes to SoundTAG range as well.

SoundTAG

Just as BLE beacons, SoundTAG can be applied to a wide variety of LBS/proximity service scenarios. However, as it operates with ‘sound wave,’ not a Bluetooth signal, it can act differently compared to Bluetooth beacons. Here’s how.

1) Bluetooth usage is not required. All you need is a speaker.

As the (smartphone) users walk-in into service area that has SoundTAG speaker installed, they can receive coupons/alerts/maps/etc.

Most certainly, you will need to implement SoundTAG SDK into the service app. Nevertheless, this can attract different types of users other than using BLE beacons since you do not need to make users to have Bluetooth turned on.

2) And SoundTAG is “more” free from physical hindrance than Bluetooth.

Bluetooth signals can be blocked or reflected by physical elements like concrete walls, pillars, windows, etc. SoundTAG audio — sound waves — is relatively flexible from those physical elements.

3) Lower hardware management cost

All you need for a SoundTAG service is a speaker that you can purchase from a supermarket, SoundTAG SDK, and CMS (Contents Management System). This reduces hardware management costs compared to having hundreds of Beacon installed (e.g. you do not have to worry about replacing beacon batteries).

Composition of SoundTAG

SoundTAG comes with SDK and CMS. SDK takes charge of sensing high frequency signal and CMS provides a simple management system for service providers.

 

● SoundTAG SDK

SoundTAG is released as a package of SDK which is easily capable of embarking onto mobile software. SDK package is very simple and light-weighted and it is compatible with both of iOS and Android.

SoundTAG consists of a generator which transmits high frequency signals and a receiver which is for recognizing and analyzing signals. High frequency signal is made up of MP3 or WAV formatted file and can be played by general speaker which you can easily get from any markets/shops.

● SoundTAG CMS

For a seamless implication of SoundTAG service, we also provide SoundTAG CMS that comes in a form of a web server.
For further questions and inquiries, contact us at reco2.me/contact.

Eddystone-EID with RECO Beacon

The most important yet underrated value in Proximity Marketing is safety and privacy. With Eddystone-EID, RECO Beacon can enhance both stably. Here’s how.

But first, what’s Eddystone EID?

Officially launched in last April, Eddstone-EID is the most recently updated spec of Eddystone, an open beacon format from Google.

Eddystone-EID is easier to understand if you get to know where the name ‘EID’ comes from — “Ephiemeral ID.”

Unlike the Eddystone-UID, which has been released earlier yet has fixed ID, Eddystone-EID can change the ID value frequently. By this, only an authorized app can receive unique ID.

And how does Eddystone-EID improve security? 

As explained above, this key function — changing ID frequently —  can prevent 1) spoofing, 2) malicious asset tracking, and 3) replay attacks.

1) Spoofing

Spoofing allows unauthorized others to clone a beacon having the same ID value. When this is not prevented, the beacon may send unplanned signal to unwanted targets.

2) Malicious Asset Tracking

This opens wider chances for beacons to be scanned and tracked much easily without proper protection. With authentication, this can be prevented and beacons will not be opened to general public.

3) Replay Attacks

If replay attacks are not prevented in firsthand, any unauthorized user can access beacon and track traffic from beacon signals. When the traffic and signal usage pattern is tracked or recorded by others, this can be hacked and used maliciously.

What is full-support of Eddystone?

Eddystone is an open format. But from the initial launch, Goolge has been publicizing the ‘Eddystone Manufacturer List,’ the companies that follow and meet all the criteria that Google has suggested for validation.

And this time’s Eddystone-EID validation process includes both EID support and newly-added Eddystone-GATT, an universal configuration.

By ‘full-support,’ it means RECO Beacons follow all the requirements suggested by Google (supports and broadcasts Eddystone-UID, URL, TLM, and EID), and can be configured with any apps that follow Eddystone-GATT.

This is especially meaningful to us since we are one of the first beacon manufacturers in Asia to be on the Eddystone List, and the only one from Korea. To learn more about RECO Beacon, please see: http://reco2.me/reco-beacon/ and our product introduction.

Lastly, how can I use Eddystone-EID with RECO Beacon?

We’re currently updating our RECO Configuration App and will be able to introduce the Config App that can allow RECO Beacons to broadcast EID format. We will make sure to let you know when we come up with the final picture!

+ Want to keep track of the updates from RECO Team? Subscribe to our Newsletter and stay tuned with us!

The ‘RECO Manager Plus’ is coming soon!

RECO Manager will be upgraded to ‘RECO Manager Plus’ from this upcoming May.

RECO Manager’s current key functions — remote management of RECO Beacons — will stay the same.

The exciting parts about the updates on RECO Manager Plus is ‘real-time Bluetooth scanning’ that reports the scan results periodically.
The following are the additional features of RECO Manager Plus.

1. Scanning nearby BLE beacons

RECO Manaer Plus will be able to scan all the nearby BLE Beacons.

The scannable beacons include BLE beacons from any manufacturers, regardless of iBeacon/Eddystone formats.  But configuring will only be viable with RECO Beacons.

2. Report function
RECO Manager Plus sends reports on appear/disappear scan results of nearby beacons once in every 5 seconds in JSON format.
Appear: Shows newly-scanned beacons during the last 5-second scan period
Disappear: shows disappeared beacons; meaning that once scanned, but unscanned while scanning
All: shows all scanned beacons

3. Filtering function
Shows filtered beacons by beacon settings variables (by UUID, UID, etc.)

Expected in May 2016, RECO Manager Plus will bring beacon management to a next level. Stay tuned for updates!
RECO Manager Plus will bring beacon management to a next level. Stay tuned for updates!

After the official public launch, we will continue to deliver updates on RECO Manager+  via our blog, newsletter, and RECO Member Center. Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates on RECO Manager Plus, firmware updates, industry news, and much more!

RECO Beacon with Eddystone – 3 Frequently Asked Questions Answered

Although the information and awareness on Eddystone is expanding, there are still parts that remain ambiguous about Eddystone. Today we summarized the key questions that we’ve been asked most about RECO Beacon with Eddystone, and the Eddystone technology itself.

Q: Do I need a separate beacon hardware to use with Eddystone?

A: No. Out of the three broadcasting mode (iBeacon, Eddystone-UID, Eddystone-URL), you can just set up the broadcasting mode of your choice with RECO Configuration App.

Eddystone configuration with RECO Config App
If you already have RECO Beacon, you can update the firmware and select the broadcasting mode.

Our latest firmware updates include Eddystone packets. The instruction on how to update the beacon firmware and configuring Eddystone is available on our Member Center (Go to RECO Beacon > Configuration App > User Guide (iOS)).

Note: Configuring the broadcast mode is now only available with iOS. Although Eddystone configuration is not supported with Android OS, Android devices can still pick up Eddystone signals.

Note 2: Eddystone-TLM is an interleaved packed, meaning that it is ‘tied’ together with Eddystone-UID or Eddystone-URL packet.

Note 3: Firmware update is not available with the former version of RECO Beacons (Beacons with Serial Number 1400~). Only the recent version of RECO Beacons (S/N with 5010~ or 5011~) is eligible for firmware upgrade.

A recent version of RECO Beacon can be firmware upgraded with RECO Config App
Recent version of RECO Beacon can be firmware upgraded with RECO Config App

Q: Is it true that you don’t need an app with Eddystone beacons?

A: In simple words, No. Beacon operates based upon the BLE signals, meaning that you will always need an app to operate together with BLE signals.

But why did Google say that there is “no need for an app” with Eddystone-URL? The truth is that when operating with Eddystone-URL, you do not need to develop or download a particular app.

Google relieves the pain of developing a beacon app by making the Eddystone-URL work together with Google Chrome app. You would probably remember that when Google first launched Eddystone, they did mention that Eddystone-URL can advertise designated URL to end-users’ smartphones. Does that mean the users will be able to see a pop-up on their devices? No. But they can tap and open the URL sent by Eddystone-URL with Chrome Widget and be directed to certain websites.

How Eddystone-URL appears on Chrome Widget
Google Chrome Widget with Eddystone-URL

Q: Can RECO Manager work with Eddystone beacons?

Sure. Our Member Center is very recently updated, and one of the key updates include management of Eddystone RECO Beacons with RECO Manager.

Plus, you can also make your RECO Manager to operate as iBeacon/Eddystone-UID/Eddystone-URL beacon. Please refer to our RECO Manager user guide to for details.

How Beacon Can Elevate Engagement: RECO in Ansan M Valley Rock Festival 2015

About Ansan M Valley Rock Festival (AVRF) 2015
Sponsored by one of Korea’s largest conglomerate holding companies CJ Group, Ansan M Valley Rock Festival is one of the biggest rock festival in Korea/Asia that is annually held since 2009.

The festival ran for three days (July 24th~26th), and it attracted 85,000 music fans this year with its reputation and line-up with top-notch musicians.

AVRF2015

Like other rock festivals, AVRF 2015 took place during rainy season. Music fans could go wild in rainfalls and muddy fields, and participants staying for more than one day stayed in campsites. Other than musical features, CJ Group also provided food & beverage and event booths for both consumer services and its marketing.

Located at seaside, Ansan Daebu Sea Breeze Theme Park held all these extensive settings. The gigantic field of 980 km2 (100ha., 247ac.) had spots including three stages (Big Top, Greeen, Tune Up stages), two campsites, food & beverage stations, event booths, parking spaces, etc.

 

AVRF_Map
Overview of Stages and Camping Area at AVRF 2015

How RECO Adapted to AVRF – for End-users and Service Providers
What can beacons do best at outdoor rock festival? The answer is simple: provide guides to visitors and serve as marketing tool for service providers.

While the features of AVRF adds excitements to participants, some conditions were demanding to beacon services.  In order to handle them, the RECO Team narrowed down priorities for building a seamless, effective beacon service into:

  1. Sturdy hardware – to prevent damages from weather conditions like rain, humidity, strong winds, etc.
  2. Locations – 600+ beacons were installed throughout the whole park area so that the visitors could receive messages from their arrival to departure
  3. Mobile App – we selected CJ One App (iOS, Android) that has over 5 million downloads. Visitors with CJ One app installed on their smartphones could receive alerts more conveniently.
0003
RECO beacons were wrapped with plastic sheets and boxed in plastic cases to prevent damage from extreme weather conditions
Boxed beacons were tied to poles of event ticket booths/stages/etc.
Boxed beacons were tied to poles of event ticket booths/stages/etc.

To ensure the maximum coverage and signal stability, RECO beacons were installed throughout areas where people most likely to visit. We also considered visitors’ movements during the festival and concluded that the participants generally move in this order:  1. Parking lot > 2. Ticketing area > 3. Camping sites > 4. Stages > 5. Food & Beverage / events stations. (3, 4 and 5 are interchangeable)

 Messages Sent to the People at AVRF

Welcome message as arrival at parking lot
Welcome message upon arrival at the parking lot

 

Notification from CJ One app via beacon signal about CGV’s (CJ’s movie theatre) free popcorn event
Notification from CJ One app via beacon signal about CGV’s (CJ’s movie theater) free popcorn event

events2

Other notifications include 1) event info (giveaways, gifts, souvenirs) at CJ’s booths such as coffee shop (Twosome Place), movie theater (CGV), drugstore (O’live Young), shopping mall (CJ Mall), etc.; 2) other events like autograph session; and 3) upcoming performance info.

Final Note:
AVRF 2015 was the very first rock festival in Korea that chose to incorporate beacons with outdoor rock festival. The success that RECO Team achieved only means a beginning to the next stage. Next time, we hope to provide other advanced beacon experiences with RECO Beacons and RECO Managers with iBeacon or Eddystone to other events like concerts, conventions, and more. Stay with us for more future updates!

So, What is Eddystone?

Google launched “Eddystone,” an open source, cross-platform Bluetooth LE beacon format on July 14th. We have been paying attention to this as we are planning to release a version of RECO that can work with Google’s Eddystone. Before the release of the new product, we want to share with you about Eddystone.

Eddystone

What is Eddystone?

Eddystone is another Bluetooth beacon protocol Google came up with — Apple announced iBeacon back in 2013. 2 years after iBeacon, Google is presenting Bluetooth beacon technology that overcomes shortcomings and even more diverse use cases.

While iBeacon was compatible with Android, it didn’t officially support Android; iBeacon was only native for iOS.

Eddystone, however, fully supports both iOS and Android. As Google is trying to come up with an ecosystem for Bluetooth beacons use cases, Eddystone is open source and is available on GitHub. We can tell Eddystone is more open then iBeacon, and Google is planning something bigger with it.

 

google_confidential_roundup

With the Physical Web project, Google Map would be a great app to incorporate with Eddystone technology.

<image: trimlet.org>

What can you do with Eddystone?

Unlike iBeacon, Eddystone supports multiple frame types — which enable the user to decide what to use depending on their purpose.

Here are types of Eddystone’s frame types,

1. Unique Identifier (UID) :  UID is a 16 byte data that can trigger push notifications or planned action, just like iBeacon’s UUID.

2. URL :  Eddystone can send URLs as their data packet. Supposedly, this overcomes Bluetooth beacon’s obstacle of needing a corresponding app. Since this is similar to the concept of Physical Web, and at this point you need Physical Web scanner app to open the URL data from Eddystone.

3. Ephemeral Identifier (EID) : The purpose of EID is security, which is a very sensitive topic in beacon industry. If Eddystone can support reliable security, there will be much more opportunities open up to beacon technology.

What is EID?
Ephemeral Identifier is an ID temporary given, so only the authorized user can access the ID.

4. Telemetry Data : When a bigger scale of beacons is installed, this frame type will be very useful. Google is planning to implement this feature with Google Now.

Google Eddystone

Imagine your life with beacon, where you can get information at right time, right place.

<image: Google Developers Blog>

 

RECO, we are Eddystone ready.

RECO Beacon’s lates firmware now supports Eddystone. You can place your order from September.  With the same reliable hardware and proprietary software, RECO is looking forward to expanding in beacon industry.

 

Bonus – Why is it called Eddystone?

Google says it’s named after the Eddystone Lighthouse in the UK. The motif is that beacons guide users and apps in the real world the same way lighthouses guide ship captains in the night. We also explained why a lighthouse is often used as a metaphor for a Bluetooth beacon in our previous post. Take a look at it if you want to understand more about the concept of beacons – no matter it is Eddystone or iBeacon, both follow the same concept.