Android ≥ 5 devices can be used as BLE beacon receivers, loggers and transmitters with the free nRF Connect app
. For initial experiments, instead of buying BLE-specific beacon hardware, you can use old Android tablets and phones to setup a beacon network. You can also use laptops, Intel Edison, Beaglebone, and Raspberry Pi to transmit/receive BLE beacons. A typical application of such beacons is for indoor/outdoor position estimation and tracking.
The transmit beacon contents (de facto standard formats) can be adjusted along with these parameters:
- BLE Advertisement period (ms): 1000, 250, 100
- BLE Transmit power (dBm): -21, -15, -7, +1
Logging requires the free nRF Logger app
. The CSV log file may be opened in Excel/Libreoffice, Python Pandas, Matlab, etc. The contents of the log file are beacon RSSI vs. time.