Estimote Stickers (Nearables) are another version of our beacons. They’re much smaller and pack a battery-powered ARM CPU equipped with an accelerometer, temperature sensor, and a Bluetooth Smart radio. While original beacons were designed for venues and static objects, Nearables turn everyday items into smart objects.
What is Nearable protocol?
Nearable protocol is our own Bluetooth data protocol, developed for Estimote Stickers to broadcast more contextual information in a single data packet. Namely, sticker's predefined context and sensor data.
Nearable protocol includes the following data:
- sticker type (for example fridge, dog, computer etc.)
- sticker ID (numerical value)
- orientation in space
- motion in X, Y, Z
- broadcasting power (used to calculate proximity)
- battery level
To learn more about developing apps interacting with nearables, visit our Developer Portal.
Stickers are a monolith piece with a small PCB inside and one adhesive side.
Broadcasting Power is set by default to -12dBm which results in a range of up to 7 meters and about 6 to 12 months of battery life. You can set it to the maximum value of 4 dBm, which results in a range of up to 15 meters, just keep in mind that the responsiveness might be less satisfying with that setup and the battery will drain much faster (keep in mind it’s not replaceable).
Advertising Interval is controlled by an adaptive algorithm that ensures responsiveness when stickers are in use, and power savings when not. By default, Interval is set to 2.6 seconds when the sticker is static and changes to a lower value when it's put in motion. You can change the static Advertising Interval to any value between 100 ms and 5,000 ms.
To support configurable settings, stickers should be running firmware version SA1.1.0 or newer. You can update stickers with the iOS or Android app as well as with SDKs.
Stickers also have an accelerometer and temperature sensor. They are waterproof, however, extreme weather conditions can impact performance. For example, heavy rain can limit the range and very high/low temperature can decrease battery life.
How to develop an app for stickers? What's new in comparison to beacons?
You can find Estimote SDK on GitHub. You can use ranging and monitoring with stickers, just like in the iBeacon standard. However, instead of UUID, Major and Minor values, the sticker regions are defined by sticker type (for example fridge, dog, computer etc) and sticker ID.
It's important to note that in case of region monitoring, there is no limit to the number of sticker regions an app can be monitored for at the same time. On top of that, triggers allow you to add another layer of context to your app, based on timestamps and data from the accelerometer and temperature sensor in the sticker.
Alternatively, you can change the primary packet to iBeacon and follow the same logic as you would with Estimote Beacons. Or, set a sticker to Eddystone-URL and broadcast a link to a webpage. (Note: With Google discontinuing Nearby Notifications starting on December 6th, 2018, users will no longer be able to receive notifications through Eddystone-URL.)
How can I adjust stickers’ settings?
Currently, you can change settings for:
- Broadcasting Power
- Advertising Interval
- Transmitted packet
- Packet details
To adjust settings on a sticker:
- open our Estimote app and log into your account
- tap on a sticker you want to adjust. Make sure it's assigned to your account
- if you need to transfer beacons to your account, read how to do that here
- tap on the value you want to edit
- nudge the sticker to connect: only when it's in motion will it become connectible
- input the new value
Visit Estimote Developer Portal to learn more about the tech behind stickers.