BlueUp releases the most powerful and flexible BLE beacon firmware on the market

BlueUp launches second-generation firmware for its BlueBeacon-series Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons, releasing version 5. This new version is an incredible step forward in the BLE-beacon technology: it is the first firmware worldwide to simultaneously support the two main technologies for proximity beacon, iBeacon and Eddystone, together with Quuppa, a RTLS technology for accurate BLE-tag positioning. Additionally it offers the support for custom formats, such as BlueUp Sensors, a proprietary frame-type for advertising sensors data.
The new firmware guarantees full support for Eddystone specifications (including new GATT service and Eddystone-EID encrypted frame), presently offered only by about ten BLE-beacon manufacturers worldwide. This means that you will be able to manage BlueBeacon beacons also using open-source development tools for Eddystone beacons, such as Proximity Beacon API from Google or nRF Beacon for Eddystone app from Nordic Semiconductors.

New firmware version (5.0 or higher) is based on a completely new architecture and introduces a huge quantity of innovations.
Beacons are configured to continuously advertise a proprietary connectable packet containing their unique identifier (including model and serial number) together with the configuration service. This packet is used to uniquely identify BlueBeacon devices, and It is always transmitted (except in "anonymous mode", see below)
Beside this, it is possible to configure up to 8 slots for non-connectable advertising frames, with the following properties: 4 slots are dedicated to Eddystone frames, and can be configured as URL, UID, TLM and/or EID (with maximum one Eddystone-EID frame available); additional 4 slots are dedicated to iBeacon frame, Quuppa frame or proprietary sensor data frame.

Firmware architecture guarantees maximum flexibility for configuration: for instance, you can configure more slots (theoretically up to 4) for iBeacon frame (or Eddystone-UID or -URL), or you can mix various technologies (Eddystone, iBeacon, Quuppa, Sensors) as you want.
In addition, each slot can be individually configured with different advertising interval and transmission power (e.g. you can advertise iBeacon frame with 0dBm TX power at 300 msec period together with a first Eddystone-URL with -8dBm TX power at 800msec period, a second Eddystone-URL with +4dBm TX power at 700msec period, and Eddystone-TLM with -20dBm TX power at 5 sec period.

Advanced configuration options are available:
- set the beacon in "non-connectable mode";
- set the beacon in "anonymous mode" (it stops advertising its unique identifier, but continues to advertise frames of configured slots);
- configure a daily operating time, with a start and a stop hour (this option can be used to save battery);
- switch-off advertising from beacon, by disabling all slots;
- reset beacon to factory default configuration;
- define operating mode on the basis of beacon orientation (presently supported only on BlueBeacon Tag).

But it is not everything! Great improvements are introduced for security. Password is written with an encrypted protocol using challenge-response technique. This means the sniffing the password is not possible.
Additionally, the support for Eddystone-EID guarantees state-of-art solution for time-rotating encrypted beacon advertising.

Possible applications of new BlueBeacon beacons are endless and limited only by your imagination:
- if you configure multiple iBeacon (or Eddystone-URL or UID) advertising, you have more "logical" iBeacon objects in only one "physical" beacon hardware: this allows beacon-network simplification (and sharing, eventually) and device and maintenance cost reduction. For instance you can use one iBeacon UUID for indoor navigation, another one for proximity information only for specific shops, and so on;
- you can use both iBeacon and Eddystone-UID frame packets to maximize performance on the smartphone operating systems (iOS and Android);
- you can use beacons as RFID tags to track your assets with a proximity approach using Eddystone-UID or iBeacon or accurate positioning with Quuppa technology, and at the same time provide Physical Web contents related to that specific asset using Eddystone-URL;
- you can implement secure access control and/or localization systems with Eddystone-EID, adding for instance Eddsytone-TLM for monitoring the internal status of your beacon and Sensors packet for monitoring environmental data.

Together with new firmware release, a new configuration and management app has been released, BlueBeacon Manager App. The app is available on Google Play and Apple Store.

Second-generation firmware (ver. 5.0 or higher) will be supported by all BlueBeacon-series beacons based on nRF5x SoC from Nordic Semiconductors (BlueBeacon Mini, Maxi, Forte, Sensor, Board and newcomer BlueBeacon Tag), thus excluding BlueBeacon USB (which is based on a different and more limited hardware platform). Starting from today we will ship only the new version of firmware. Customers with existing or designed infrastructures and projects can continue to buy beacons running the old firmware (iBeacon or Eddystone).

For all information and requests about the new firmware, please contact us.