How to Quickly Create Bluetooth Beacons?


Do you want to learn how to quickly implement compact, battery-powered BLE beacons? 

A beacon in wireless technology is the concept of broadcasting small pieces of information. The information may be anything, ranging from ambient data (temperature, air pressure, humidity, and so forth) to micro-location data (asset tracking, retail, and so forth) or orientation data (acceleration, rotation, and so forth). The transmitted data is typically static but can also be dynamic and change over time. With the use of Bluetooth low energy (BLE), beacons can be designed to run for years on a single coin cell battery.

Here are two reference designs for those who want to get started with implementing BLE beacons:

Battery-powered BLE Beacon For Asset Tracking


This reference design from TI provides sample projects for three different beacon broadcasting formats: iBeacon location and proximity detection technology, Eddystone and a proprietary protocol.

With the flexibility of the TI BLE-Stack 2.2 software running on TI SimpleLink Bluetooth low energy wireless microcontrollers (MCUs), it allows the customer to choose the format that will best fit their design regarding connectable vs. non-connectable advertisements and what information should be included in those packets.


• Micro-Location Services
• Asset Tracking and Identification
• Broadcasting Ambient or Sensor Data


  • Runs on the SimpleLink Bluetooth low energy CC2640 wireless MCU
  • Uses the TI Royalty-Free BLE-Stack Software Development Kit (SDK)
  • Easily runs on the SimpleLink CC2650 LaunchPad development kit
  • Offers generic projects that can be modified to fit various applications
  • Very long battery life and excellent RF range

Click here for the reference design.

Ultra-Portable PLC for Industrial Automation

Compact BLE Beacon

NXP offers a compact form factor, open source design which can be used with the popular beacon profiles such as iBeacon, Eddystone and custom NXP Beacon profile. This design is also compatible with the IoT Toolbox Android and iOS cellphone apps. The design is built around the Kinetis KW30Z system on chip (SoC), which includes an ARM Cortex M0+ processor together with a 2.4 GHz radio for BLE. The Kinetis KW30 is supplemented with tools and software that include hardware evaluation and development boards, software development IDE and applications, drivers and BLE Link Layer.


  • The Kinetis KW30Z SoC enables Bluetooth Smart/BLE v4.1 connectivity for portable, extremely low-power embedded systems
  • Optimized hardware, compact form factor and open source designs
  • Complete suite of software with the firmware for BLE Stack, iBeacon and custom beacon firmware, Android and iOS apps

Click here for the reference design.



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