Bluetooth Hacking?
OpenBeacon System

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We refer to an OpenBeacon System as one specific set of hardware and software involving OpenBeacons that implement one specific function/application.

Since OpenBeacon is very flexible and reprogrammable, almost any OpenBeacon System will look different from the other.

However, many systems will fall into the following categories


Master/Slave Systems

In such a system, one or more OpenBeacons are exchanging information with devices called Base Stations. Typical examples of such systems are

Classic RFID

In a Classic RFID system, the OpenBeacon Tag will be programmed with a firmware that either regularly transmits a frame, or regularly switches on the receiver to listen for inquiries received by a bases station (aka RFID Reader).

However, due to its active 2.4GHz transceiver architecture, only the systemic / high level view will be that of a "Classic RFID". The device will always be battery-powered and can not act as a passive transponder. The advantages of an active RFID system are:

  • high range
  • way more than just a dumb ID or read-only or read-write memory
  • can be cryptographically secure
  • has a full processor on the Tag side
  • Tag can control peripheral devices
  • Meshing protocols possible!

Location Tracking

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 Base Stations in the vicinity (up to 25m, 10m through drywalls).

Signals received by one or more base stations can then be used to estimate the position of the tag.

Such a OpenBeacon based system has been deployed the first time under the name of Sputnik.

Peer-to-Peer Systems

In a OpenBeacon p2p system, OpenBeacons directly communicate with other OpenBeacons, probably even going as far as building Mesh Networks between them.