Is there an API or a way to send a packet to the iBeacon and receive an answer?
According to the iBeacon standard, communication between the beacon the smartphone is uni-directional, and the direction is from the beacon to the device. Most vendors (like Estimote) do allow establishing a Bluetooth connection to the beacon for the purposes of configuration, but not to exchange any user-defined data (remember the beacon has tiny amount of storage space, usually only enough to store its firmware and configuration).
What’s your idea behind pinging a beacon?
Being able to ping could be useful to actually measure the response time and use that for measuring the actual distance of the beacon from the device emitting the ping.
I agree it won’t work with the iBeacon standard but a custom firmware could probably do that. The problem that would arise next is if an iOS device could actually ping the beacon without having to pair with it. Or maybe it could just pair for a minimum amount of time and release the connection as soon as it’s done.
Isn’t that a feature that Estimote might want to include in their firmware by any chance?
We’re always evaluating ways to improve the distance estimations, especially for our Indoor Location technology, although I’m afraid we don’t discuss the specifics in public. If you want to stay up to date with the developments at Estimote, keep an eye on our blog or subscribe to our newsletter on estimote.com.
Thanks Piotr. Is there any way to get involved in the process? I’m pretty sure we’re trying to achieve the same goal. We developed our own technology without using your indoor location sdk, but we’re using your beacons. It would be interesting to discuss joining forces eventually. Please let me know if that’s a viable path.