Bluetooth Hacking?
OpenBeacon Active RFID Project

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OpenBeacon Sensor Tag with a 10K potentiometer and constant ADC converting the resistance every 132ms (2.4GHz transmit every 13 seconds and upon change) runs 6 years from a single CR2032 coin cell.

2009: Live Social Semantics with OpenBeacon tags. The intro music is from the song "Dreamer" by Geraint Luff - support his music here.
See for more information about the deployment.
OpenBeacon Ethernet EasyReader PoE II
Active 2.4GHz OpenBeacon Proximity Tag was used to measure social interaction between BruCON 2011 participants and to track positions
OpenBeacon @ Blinkenlights Stereoscope in Toronto
BruCON 2011, day 2 - OpenBeacon RFID Tag Proximity Data was used to build social network graph for second day over all tag IDs in the lounge area (in PDF and PNG format). You can also find the live version of this graph (including source code).

Talk at OSHUG #39 in London

Excited to meet you at OSHUG #39 in London for my Low Power to the People! talk. See you on 19 March 20:00 at BCS London, 1st Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA.

Find more information about the presented new OpenBeacon NG tag hardware and software here.

New OpenBeacon Tag with Bluetooth Smart

The Internet of Things finally has its official Bluetooth Smart URL beacons! We sure could not wait till some official hardware is around, so we added support for the physical web packet protocol to existing OpenBeacon tags.

We turned our existing nRF51822 base OpenBeacon tag into the ultimate hacking, fuzzing and pentesting tool for Bluetooth Low Energy.

We strongly believe that the future of the Internet of Things can be privacy enabled and can work distributed without selling your soul to large cloud services. Please join our project for enabling that vision!


This site collects user and developer documentation for the Open Source and Open Hardware Active 2.4 GHz RFID reader system and our Open Source and Open Hardware active RFID tags.

See OpenBeacon Tracker API Installation for setting up the server API and example code applications on your own server. Feel free to browse our git source code repository or download the source code as Unix tar.bz2 archive file or Windows ZIP File file

OpenBeacon Hardware Projects

For our latest hardware - please visit our new Bluetooth Smart OpenBeacon Tag web site.

OpenBeacon Applications

RFID Realtime Tracking System

Location tracking using OpenBeacon tags can be implemented by running a OpenBeacon firmware that regularly transmits beacon packets. Such packets can then be received by OpenBeacon EasyReaderPoE base stations in the vicinity. Signals received by one or more base stations can then be used to estimate the position of the tag. Optional encryption can make sure, that only base stations inside the system can read the packet information.

Such an OpenBeacon based system has been deployed:

Indoor Locationing

A compact hardware version of the OpenBeacon USBnode base station is connected to a PDA device or laptop and receives beacon packets from stationary placed beacons. The base station computes its own position in respect to the deployed beacons and transmits this information to the PDA. The PDA can display a map or other location based information to the user.

Such an OpenBeacon based system has been deployed:

  • JMB – Jewish Museum in Berlin, Germany (permanent demo installation since 2008)
  • ongoing development in the EU project POSEIDON

Social Networking

The SocioPatterns sensing platform employs wearable electronic badges to sense sustained face-to-face proximity between persons –a proxy observable for social contact– with a fine spatial and temporal resolution. It has so far been utilized in fourteen deployments in which the SocioPatterns team was directly involved. Further deployments are being prepared. The platform has additionally been adopted by other research groups and commercial entities which have deployed it and/or are preparing future deployments. Complementing the development of this sensing platform, the SocioPatterns team also works on the development of tools and techniques to facilitate the representation, analysis and visualization of the data obtained from this platform.

Background information on OpenBeacon social networking features as used in our sister project

Wireless Remote Control System

The OpenBeacon RF interface can be combined with a dimmer for halogen lamps and can respond to transmissions from an OpenBeacon Ethernet Base station. Commands to control the brightness of the lamps in real time can be transmitted via Ethernet from a central computer and broadcasted to several lamps via an OpenBeacon Ethernet base station on each floor level.

Such an OpenBeacon based system has been deployed:

  • Blinkenlights Stereoscope art installation for the “Nuit Blanche” with OpenBeacon remote control of 960 lamps in realtime in each window of the City Hall of Toronto, Canada (2008)

Getting Started with OpenBeacon

OpenBeacon visitor tracking video in fast-forward of visitors of the 24C3 in the Berlin end of 2007

OpenBeacon Hardware Development