iBeacon Wearables (And Outdoor Beacons Too!)

Bluetooth LE beacons built into sunglasses are getting a lot of press this week.

At 9to5Mac they report on an upcoming crowd funding campaign being planned by Tzukuri who have designed a beautiful set of frames with a built in beacon – misplace your sunglasses and an app on your phone will notify you that you’re leaving them behind.

But Tzukuri isn’t the only one creating iBeacon-enabled wearables. In fact, we’ve been creating sunglasses in our own design lab. Brock, my co-Founder at Dot3, models version one of our patent-pending BEEKn-Shade Technology:

BEEKn-Shade Technology!

GeLo and the All Weather Beacon

This is, however an early prototype. We used the GeLo beacon because it has excellent battery life, will work in all weather conditions, and has a high range.

GeLo Beacon

But GeLo recently announced the second generation of their product. Their new new OTAC beacon is protected by passcode authentication to prevent unauthorized changes — a major advancement in the beacon industry.  The new beacon allows customers to configure their own UUID, Major, Minor, advertising interval, advertising channels, transmission power, secret passkey and factory reset.

Al Juarez said that ““Many customers are seeking us out because of the all-weather, rugged nature of our beacons. The encrypted over-the-air configuration is also generating a strong market response and bringing in more users.”

We plan to update our sunglass prototype to the new GeLo product – we’ve long been fans of their beacon, especially for outdoors. And having a beacon option that uses standard AA batteries rather than coin operated makes a lot of sense for some uses.

So while you can wait for Tzukuri to get its funding and release its beacon-powered sunglasses, you don’t really need to look much further than the team here at BEEKn if you want an immediate wearable!

Oh…and if you’re interested, we’re also prototyping a beacon for pets. The problem is, our dog can’t seem to change the battery:

Share Your Thoughts

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So can we aid you to the list for a set of GeLo powered beacon sunglasses? Have you used the new GeLo beacons? What’s your choice if you’re looking for a beacon that works in unusual conditions like cold weather?

4 thoughts on “iBeacon Wearables (And Outdoor Beacons Too!)

  1. It’s clear that the size of the beacon is determined by the two alkaline batteries required. Imagine the design flexibility GeLO would have if the beacon were operable from a single alkaline cell, instead of two, with no reduction in battery life. That’s the real value of low-voltage operation — the designer is free to make products smaller, or use the freed space to add product features. Either way, it produces a competitive advantage.


  2. Yes radiating an ID is only one of the tricks the Bluetooth LE circuits can do. I picked up the Texas Instruments dual lab board kit this week for their CC254x chips and it´s back to the 80s firmware hacking school once more. Implementing some protocol use cases will be lots of fun. The 3000 dollar IAR Workbench IDE license is worrying stuff but there is a one month free trial.


  3. Informative article Doug, beacons can be designed to be portable! it can even be rendered wearable in the form of watches, badges and the like, though, this technology is in its infancy and companies are trying to come up with unique and cost-effective ways to make sure that these “wearable’s” are durable enough under all sorts of conditions. Right now, you might be wondering how exactly the full wearable potential of beacons can be realized? We have discussed an article on how beacons can be used on wearable’s, Click to Read: http://bfonics.com/bfonicscms/business/can-beacons-be-used-on-wearables/ OR Visit: http://www.bfonics.com


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