Practical Bluetooth 4.0 Solutions With Gimbal Proximity Beacons
Qualcomm has made developing BLE based solutions practical and easy with their Gimbal Proximity Beacons. I don’t have experience with other BLE solutions like Estimote except with BLE Shield for Arduino. But Gimbals beacons, SDK and their documentation allowed me to integrate Gimbal Series 10 beacons into iOS app within 1 hour.
Gimbal provides Cloud based API for managing and querying beacons. Developers can manage their beacons through Gimbal portal and iOS/Android applications can use Gimbal SDK for discovering beacons or for tasks such as geofencing. One disadvantage is they hide the original UUID for the beacon and we can only discover beacons through their API which gets the UUIDs for your beacons on the fly. So internet connection will be required most of the times.
I specifically said most of the times because, I was able to detect my beacon using Gimbal app even when I am offline in my phone. So there is a possibility that Gimbal SDK allows us to cache discovered beacons.
So far Gimbal’s complete BLE solution looks promising to me for scenario as well as for people who don’t want to spend time on developing their own beacons and solution to manage beacons. They also provide REST API for their beacon manager, so its possible to wrap it to create custom beacon management applications for specific scenarios.
Even though their solution is closed source, I can recommend it to anyone who cares about fast BLE solution development. Gimbal also provide 3 beacons free of charge for developers who are interested in building BLE solutions.