What's conditional broadcasting or how to prolong battery life of beacons?


Conditional Broadcasting allows you to ‘mute’ beacons based on sensor readings in beacons.

Conditional broadcasting is compatible with all Estimote Beacons, although there are some differences between Proximity and Location Beacons due to different set of sensors they use. Take a look below.

Conditional broadcasting and Proximity Beacons

Our first generation of beacons, Proximity Beacons, lets you set their broadcasting depending on motion. Keep in mind that they must have firmware version 3.0.1 or later. If you are not sure if you have the latest firmware, check out this guide.

With Proximity Beacons there are three conditional broadcasting modes available:

  • Flip to Sleep
  • Motion Only
  • Motion UUID

Flip to Sleep

For the majority of users, the most useful conditional broadcasting mode will be Flip to Sleep. With Flip to Sleep, your beacon will stop advertising when placed upside down (adhesive layer facing toward the ceiling) and not moving. However, it will still be visible on the radar and available for connection and configuration in the Estimote app. In your  own app, on the other hand, the beacon won't be detectable. 

Flip to Sleep is useful for configuring large numbers of beacons, simulating enter/exit region events, and preserving battery life.

To enable Flip to Sleep, connect to a beacon with the Estimote app, scroll down to the Sensors section and tap Beacon in motion. On the motion detection settings screen turn on both the accelerometer and Flip to Sleep.

And you’re done! You can now flip your beacon to mute it. Keep in mind that you will still be able to detect it in Estimote app. That won't be the case for your app, so remember to turn Flip to sleep off when you’re ready to deploy: especially if you’re going to attach beacons upside down, for example to ceilings or underneath tables.

Motion only and Motion UUID

You can also enable Motion Only and Motion UUID modes. With Motion Only turned on, your beacons will only broadcast data while moving.

Motion UUID, on the other hand, is a neat feature that allows you to leverage beacon's embedded accelerometer for more context, by broadcasting a different UUID value once the beacon is put in motion. Motion Only is only available in the SDK. You can learn more about Motion UUID here.

Conditional broadcasting and Location Beacons

Location Beacons come with extended opportunities for conditional broadcasting.They support all the modes Proximity Beacons do. Apart from that, new sensors, like ambient light sensor and Real-Time Clock, make it possible to play around with new conditional broadcasting modes: Dark to Sleep and scheduled advertising.

Dark to Sleep mode

Ambient light sensor makes it possible to mute a beacon, depending on the level of light accessible. By establishing the light level at which beacon stops broadcasting, you can make sure the battery is not drained while a venue with beacons deployed is closed. Setting it up is possible with our Estimote SDK

Scheduled advertising

Real-Time Clock (RTC) allows to schedule advertising for specific time of day therefore giving you more control over broadcasting and allowing to save battery life.

With our Estimote SDK 4.0 you can able to schedule the periods when beacons are transmitting. That way you can set up the start and end point of broadcasting, so you are not exhausting the battery in vain.

So go ahead, give it a try!

Let us know how is goes and ping us if you have any questions at contact@estimote.com.


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