7. Usage and Topology¶
Different projects require different setups. Some may require many MetaSensors, Apps or Hubs.
There are endless configurations for MetaSensors. You should pick the usage mode and infrastructure you need for your project.
7.1. Usage Modes¶
MetaSensors can be used three ways:
- Beaconing - Sensor data is advertised to the world to be picked up by any Smartphone.
Useful for cases where either the sender or the receiver is roaming and information is being “broadcasted” to all compatible devices. For example, in a hospital, a patient’s wristband broadcasts the patient’s location every 30 seconds to all available hub devices, effectively using geolocation to track the patient.
- Streaming - Sensor data is sent live to your Smartphone while connected.
Useful for cases where high frequency data needs to be collected in large quantities. For example, we may want a live data stream from a boxing glove to a hub device during a boxing match. This allows us to monitor interesting data in real time and do more advanced analysis using a powerful computer/server.
- Logging - Sensor data is kept in the MetaSensor memory to be downloaded at a later time.
Useful for cases where data storage without a hub devices or extremely high frequency data is needed. For example, we want to track a shipment from United States to Canada, measuring temperature, humidity, and shock every minute. We won’t have access to a hub device during the shipment, so we log this data (over a couple of days) to the internal memory of the MetaSensor device.
7.1.1. Disconnected: Beaconing¶
Bluetooth beacons transmit a universally unique identifier picked up by a compatible App or Device. The identifier and several bytes sent with it can be used to determine the device’s physical location, track customers, or trigger a location-based action on the device such as a check-in on social media or a push notification.
All MetaSensors can be turned into Beacons using our SDKs.
Beacon do not connect to Devices such as a MetaHub or MetaBase, they only send out Bluetooth packets to be picked up by any nearby Device(s).
A doctor wearing a smart Bluetooth badge beaconing can be used to alert patients when the doctor has left or entered the building and let nurses find the professional quickly in case of an emergency.
iBeacon is Apple’s version of the Bluetooth-based beacon, which allows Bluetooth devices to broadcast or receive tiny and static pieces of data within short distances.
Eddystone is a Bluetooth advertising protocol (“packet”) designed by Google.
7.1.2. Connected: Streaming¶
Set your MetaSensor to continuously send data via the Bluetooth Link:
The data is live and constantly sent out via the Bluetooth link.
7.1.3. Connected: Logging¶
Set your MetaSensors to record data for minutes, hours, even days and download the data from memory at your convenience:
The data is stored in memory to be retrieved at any time.
7.2. Infrastructure and Topology¶
7.2.1. 1 Sensor + 1 App (Hub)¶
This is the most common infrastructure used by devices such as your Fitbit or smart Scale.
This can be:
- Fitness Trackers
A smartphone app captures the bio and fitness metrics of a sensor worn on running shorts. The motion sensors are used to analyze the gait and cadence of the runner and metrics are displayed in the App.
7.2.2. 2+ Sensors + 2+ Apps (Hubs)¶
This is a common infrastructure for tracking many people at a conference using iBeacons or Eddystones.
This can be:
- Asset Tracker
- People Tracker
7 MetaHubs are placed in each room of the warehouse facility and movable objects are outfitted with MetaSensors beaconing. The advertised beacon data has information about the temperature and humidity of the packages which is observed by the MetaHub and relayed to the cloud. The information is used to locate the movable objects and make sure they are kept in proper inventory conditions.
7.2.3. 1 Sensor + 2+ Apps (Hubs)¶
This is a common infrastructure for logistics and tracking the dark portions of a supply chain such as your crate of bananas in a container that is refrigerated currently stuck in the Panama Canal.
This can be:
- Cargo Tracker
- RTLS (Location / Beacon)
2 Hubs and 1 App are used by the warehouse owners, on the manufacturing floor, and by consignees in the supply chain. At each step, data is downloaded from 1 sensor Device tracking cold cargo shipment of extremely sensitive pharmaceuticals.
7.2.4. 2+ Sensors + 1 App (Hub)¶
This is a common infrastructure for motion detection of people and robots such as analyzing a tennis swing or a swim stroke.
This can be:
- Motion/Sports/Object Tracker
1 Hub is used to track the motion of a robot arm in a laboratory. The Hub relays the information to the cloud which tracks the motion of the robot arm as well as how often they are used by researchers.