Is there a way to access estimotes via javascript in browser?


#1

Hi all,

I just bought some estimotes. I have an app I’ve built as a website using react + aframe (lots of javascript). I’ve read through this doc - https://developers.google.com/web/updates/2015/07/interact-with-ble-devices-on-the-web and I generally know how to connect to bluetooth le devices. I’d like to use the browser api (rather than the cordova bridge) to connect to estimotes. It seems it’s not completely possible right now. If you could give me some guidance, I could start a frontend web library for estimotes. This is of course assuming that connecting to estimotes is entirely done through bluetooth le as opposed to some other mechanism (iBeacon/NFC?)

Examples/details would be helpful!

Thanks,
Parris


Access Beacons from Webpage using JavaScript
#2

Ah, Web Bluetooth, happy to talk about that (:

Before we jump into that, would you mind letting me know how do you want to use beacons in your web app? Do you want to make it react to proximity to certain beacons, do you want to use the sensors, etc.? This will help me narrow the discussion down to only the interesting bits (;


#3

Sure, so essentially I’m trying to locate a person within a space without having them download an app. For now we can assume that the space is tightly controlled. The indoor location sdk seems ideal for this sort of thing, but using trilateration could work too. Btw I have 6 estimotes.

If this strategy doesn’t work I may pivot to an app and leverage the cordova bridge.


#4

Thanks for sharing!

Beacons in general are sort of atypical compared to most other BLE devices, in that you don’t really connect to a beacon the way you connect e.g. to a heart-rate monitor, and then the HRM provides you with regular notifications about the heart rate.

Instead, beacons primarily use BLE advertising, to simply broadcast their presence into the air, and any device in range can pick it up just like that. (Mostly because, with the heart-rate monitor, there’s just one receiver; but with beacons, it’s meant to work even with a crowd of people, and the BLE spec currently limits the number of BLE connections to a single one I think.)

The current version of the Web Bluetooth standard focuses on the former, i.e., using web apps to connect to and control BLE devices. There was a separate project started recently dubbed Web Bluetooth Scanning (https://webbluetoothcg.github.io/web-bluetooth/scanning.html), and this one is focusing on BLE advertisements and beacons—but it’s in much, much earlier stage than the “vanilla” Web Bluetooth standard, and no browser implements it yet.

This doc you linked to is also about the “connectivity” approach rather than “advertisements”.

So all in all, it’s too early still to implement something like indoor location using a web app and the Web Bluetooth standard. Cordova bridge might be the way to go here.


#5

@heypiotr I’m too looking to see if it’s now possible to interact with sensors via PWA webapp. Do you have any updates on the latest development with Web Bluetooth Scanning? I’m interested in looking into different use cases with PWA similar to these http://www.myweathercenter.net/use-cases-for-the-estimote-beacon/. Thanks.


#7

Thanks for this! I, too, was hoping to add some indoor mapping to a PWA I’m working on, but unlike the OP, I can’t pivot to a mobile app. I guess a static floor plan will have to do the job for now. :man_shrugging:t4: