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Bluetooth Beacons

Bluetooth beacons are an emerging technology that can help you connect with customers and improve business through localized internet content. For part three of Senso’s five-part series on the Xicato XIM module, we’re taking a closer look at beacons.


What is a beacon?

Beacons are devices that transmit a set signal to the surrounding area. This signal can then be picked up and interpreted by other devices, such as through an app on a smartphone.

Think of the beacon as a lighthouse—stationary and transmitting a signal—and all the smartphones as the ships that can see and interpret the signal. For example, if you’re approaching a restaurant chain, the beacon could transmit information about the menu and lunch features.

The Xicato XIM module is compatible with three types of beacons: Eddystone, iBeacon, and AltBeacon.


Designed by Google, Eddystone-URL ties a shorted URL to a specific device and broadcasts the link so users within range can access the chosen website. Google’s open beacon format allows you to manage beacons remotely, integrates with Google services, and works with both iOS and Android systems.


iBeacon is native to the iOS platform and compatible with Android. It uses a universal unique identifier (UUID) plus ‘major’ and ‘minor’ values for more specific information. For example, if you’re using beacons for a department store, the UUID would identify the company, the major value would be tied to the particular location of that store, and minor values would provide information related to specific departments within that store.

iPhone connecting to ibecon transmitter attached to a tree


Created by Radius Networks AltBeacon is an open-source beacon format that allows for application-specific rather than company-specific UUIDs. AltBeacon has similar functionality to iBeacon.

Lighting systems are an efficient and effective place to mount beacons, and the XIM module’s compatibility with beacons offers an exciting new dimension for your business—just one of many reasons Senso is a big fan of the module.

Stay tuned for part four of our series on the Xicato XIM module—we’ll be talking about motion detection and daylight harvesting.