Raspberry Pi 3 has built-in Wifi and Bluetooth. With a few lines of commands anyone can turn Raspi 3 into a beacon which broadcasts URL of one's choice via Bluetooth. It's not that tricky at all! Read on!
Eddystone by Google
There are different techniques what comes to beacons. You can choose at least between Apple and Google. What we are going to try is called Eddystone brought by Google. And hey, even Apple's devices (with Chrome installed) are able to hear these kind of beacons.
Raspi 3 has it all ready for you
With Raspberry Pi 3 built-in Bluetooth 4 LE (Low Energy) and Raspbian Linux your beacon will be up and running in no time! So go and get you gear and burn OS on a microSD-card. Next, the actual setup of a beacon.
Setting up a beacon
Type in the following commands using Terminal app.
Enable Bluetooth in Raspberry Pi 3:
hciconfig hci0 up
Let Bluetooth advertise and make it not-connectable:
hciconfig hci0 leadv 3
Set up an advertisement which Raspi3 will broadcast (in my case the URL is http://www.edupoli.fi):
That's it! Your beacon is now up and running! Next: how to receive the URL which Raspi 3 is broadcasting?
Make sure Bluetooth and Location are on. Find them in Settings. Download Physical Web app from Play Store and install it: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=physical_web.org.physicalweb&hl=en . Launch Physical Web app and let it search for beacons.
Please visit the following URL and follow the instructions in video to turn Physical Web on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxPcPXSE_O0
If you can't reach your beacon read through these instructions how to setup your phone/tablet: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/6239299?hl=en
Download Physical Web app
from Play Store
Fire up the app and let it
look for beacons
There you have it!
iPhone 4S can hear a beacon
in the neighbourhood