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Physical Web Beacon Setup

Setting up your Twocanoes Physical Web Beacon

If you're just getting started with Physical Web Beacons, this guide will help program and test the Bleu Station Physical Web Beacon.  


Table of Contents: 

  1. Requirements
  2. Download Physical Web App
  3. Update URL
  4. Disconnect Beacon from Power
  5. Test Beacon using Links Near Me



See the Physical Web FAQ for background on this project as well as complete documentation on the Github repository.

Configuring a Physical Web beacon is simple.  If you don't have a Twocanoes Labs Physical Web beacon, any of our 100 Series Bleu Station beacons, including Geohopper Beacon and Bleu Meetings Beacon, can be easily deployed as physical web beacons with a quick re-flashing of the firmware. See the tutorial on flashing the physical web firmware on Bleu Station beacon hardware.  


Download the Physical Web App

You will need to download the Physical Web beacon app to your mobile device:

Android devices
iOS devices

Apply power to the Twocanoes Physical Web beacon and launch the mobile app. The beacon will boot into admin mode for 30 seconds where it will accept connections and can be configured. After 30 seconds the beacon will switch to broadcast mode and is not configurable without first powering the beacon off and on again.

In the mobile app, click the gear in the lower right corner to detect and select the physical web beacon to configure. You do not need to pair the beacon to your mobile device to configure the uribeacon.

screenshot iOS URI beacon put beacon in configuration mode in order to set it up

Tip: During configuration, limiting the number of active beacons will simplify setup. If the physical web app detects multiple physical web beacons it may be difficult to ensure changes are applied to the correct beacon.


Update URL

After selecting the beacon, it will be possible to edit the associated URI. Tap the gear in the lower right corner to get to the configuration page.  In this example, we entered the uribeacon URL, uribeacon.org.

screenshot iOS URI beacon configuration enter URI to program beacon

If the URI exceeds the maximum number of characters, you will be prompted to use a URL shortener to encode characters to fit within the limited sized packets broadcast by the beacon. In uriBeacon-aware apps, this shortened URI should auto-expand to display the source URI.


Save the URI to the beacon, then disconnect the beacon from power

Plug in the beacon and after 30 seconds the physical web mobile device app should display the detected beacon in the main window:

screenshot iOS URI beacon configuration done displays target site

Test Your Beacon using Links Near Me

To test the beacon from a Mac, go to the Twocanoes Physical Web Beacons page and download the Links Near Me app.
After installing, find the radio antenna icon in the menu bar and select. Make sure the box at the bottom of the drop down window "Show in Notification Center" is checked.

Now plug in the uriBeacon to power and wait 15-30 seconds when it begins broadcasting. Once the uriBeacon is detected by the app, an alert notification will appear on the Mac screen "Nearby link found for Rio 2016"

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