Attendance with a Bluetooth beacon
A Bluetooth beacon is a small electronic device that (when powered), silently broadcasts a Bluetooth identifier, with a signal strength that extends about 150 ft.
For attendance, a participant in your group needs to be within this range of the beacon, in order to "check in."
The beacon is useful if GPS is not reliable (i.e. inside of multi-storey building), you don't want to use GPS (perhaps due to privacy concerns), or you need a real-time portable attendance target.
Youhere has developed and tested a custom beacon, tailored for attendance. To use it, power up the beacon by plugging it in to any USB-powered port (your laptop, a phone charger, USB power-pack, etc.). It will immediately start broadcasting. When a participant taps "Check me in," the app will look for the beacon's Bluetooth identifier and if found, the participant will be checked in.
To set up a beacon check-in, select a "beacon check-in"
in the blue dropdown you'll see on your main Youhere page.
Part of the "beacon check-in" involves you filling in the beacon's Bluetooth identifier into your Youhere.org account. You can set this to whatever you wish, as long as it matches the Beacon's identifier. (YouhereBeacon
is the default name of our beacon.)
When a participant taps "Check me in," the App will scan for this Bluetooth identifier, allowing a check-in only if a matching Bluetooth identifier is found. (There are often many Bluetooth identifiers in a given area due to headphones, tablet pencils, smart-watches, etc.)
The Youhere beacon (pictured above) is available for purchase here.
- Cost $79.99.
- Free shipping.
- Refund/return policy: -15% refund, within 60 days of purchase.
- Jul 2022: Beacons orders will not ship until Aug 4th.
Yes. We tested extensively with a few different beacons. Here's what we found:
- Any Bluetooth beacon will work, but most broadcast in on/off bursts to save battery life.
- On/off broadcasting was not always picked up by nearby phones in our testing.
- Our beacon broadcasts continuously and was always and immediately picked up by all test phones within 150 ft.
- The Bluetooth identifier of many Bluetooth devices cannot actually be changed.
- Example: The Blue Charm Beacon (BC011-MultiBeacon).
- Pros: Small, cheap, and easy to configure (set name and broadcasat power) with an App.
- Cons: Easy to lose, internal non-rechargeable battery, some Android phones (Galaxy J3) do not pick up the signal immediately (and would require multiple "check me in" taps).
- It's best to set the beacon within line-of-site of your participants.
- You can verify the beacon's signal by tapping "Other Stuff" in the app, then "Test Bluetooth." After 5 seconds, a list of all found Bluetooth signals will be listed. Look for the name of the beacon. The default name when shipped is "YouhereBeacon."
- Both the broadcast name and signal strength of the beacon are adjustable with free software.
- You can use multiple beacons (each with a different name), for large area coverage.