We will have various beacons around the event. What IS a beacon? Glad you asked and it's great you are at this conference because you'll be hearing about them often. The short answer is they are bluetooth devices that are broadcasting constantly just waiting for someone to notice them. At this event, you'll see many beacons and many will point to this website and the schedule. Others will do whatever the owner of that beacon wants them to do (they don't always just point to a website but that is the simple use case I understand well enough to explain here). Others, well, if you follow them and fill out the form, you are eligible for an awesome prize!
How to scan for beacons
Beacons are in the early stages. These instructions might not be perfect for your device with the version of the OS you are running. Google is your friend.
iOS (Apple Devices)
iOS has great support for beacons and the best "bluetooth stack" (that's what someone told me anyway). Here are the steps to scan for beacons. Note: for Android, you just go and get some app named "Physical Web". DO NOT GET THAT APP IOS DEVICES. That app might be perfectly fine but it's not an official app. I would NEVER install it.
- Install Google Chrome from the App Store
- Pull down the "today" screen and scroll to the bottom
- You need to enable Chrome to send notifications . . . scroll down and tap "edit".
- From there, you will see all the apps that have access to the today screen. Find Chrome, and press the green "+" sign.
- Get out of that and go back to the today screen and scroll to the Chrome section. You should see that it's scanning for beacons and if you are at the venue, it will find something for sure.
Although the instructions below seem simpler than what you see above . . . this isn't the end of the story with beacons and Android. This is a work-around before Chrome and/or Android have it built in and you don't need an app anymore.
- Download the "Physical Web" app from the Play Store
- Run the Physical Web app
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, I mean sorry that you have a Windows Phone. But I can't figure it out on my Nokia 635 I got for testing. If you have a Windows phone and write something up with the same wit and charm as me I'm happy to post it here.