iBeacons

ZuluDesk version 4.24 and up allows you to utilize Apple’s iBeacon technology to monitor when devices enter or exit an iBeacon region. This allows you to install profiles, documents, and apps when the device is in the specified region and remove them when the device exits the region.

For more information about iBeacons, see Apple’s “Getting Started with iBeacons” guide.

Requirements

To monitor iBeacon Regions, you need:

  • iOS 7 or higher;
  • a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) capable iOS device;
    Bluetooth Low Energy is available on iPhone 4S or higher, iPad 3rd generation or higher and iPad Mini 1st generation or higher.
  • Bluetooth turned on;
    Tip: create a new Profile and untick the “Allow Changes to Bluetooth settings” box at the Restrictions section to make sure students can’t turn off Bluetooth on their device. 
  • ZuluDesk Client version 3.3 installed and Managed by ZuluDesk;
  • Location Services enabled;
  • One or more iBeacon devices.

Creating an iBeacon Region

  1. In ZuluDesk Management System navigate to Organisation -> Settings -> iBeacons;
  2. Click on the “Add iBeacon” button;
  3. Enter the name and an optional description for the iBeacon you want to add;
  4. Define the iBeacon Region by specifying the UUID and optionally the major and minor values;
    If the UUID is only specified, the major and minor values will be wildcarded and the region will match any beacons with the same UUID.  Similarly, if only the UUID and major value are specified, the minor value will be wildcarded and the region will match against any beacons with the same UUID and major value.
  5. Click on the blue “Save” button.

Using iBeacons in Smart Groups

The iBeacon Regions you’ve defined can be used in Smart Groups. Once a device enters or exits a region, the Smart Group will automatically update and add or remove the device as a member accordingly.

To create a Smart Group based on iBeacons:

  1. In ZuluDesk Management System navigate to Devices -> Groups;
  2. Click on “Add Group”;
  3. Enter the name and an optional description for the new group and make sure you tick the “Smart Group” box;
  4. Click on the blue “Add” button;
  5. Click on the “Members” tab;
  6. Click on the green “Add Filter” button;
  7. Select “Nearby iBeacon(s)” as the rule and select which iBeacon should trigger an enter or exit region event;
    You can specify more than one iBeacon.If you do so the device is in scope (member of the Smart Group) if the device is near one of the specified iBeacons. 

Best Practices

  • Please make sure that the ZuluDesk client app is not blacklisted. The ZuluDesk Client app is being used to monitor the iBeacons on your iPads.
  • The ZuluDesk Client app needs to be opened at least once to monitor the iBeacons. We advice to send a ‘Attention Message’ using the ZuluDesk teacher app to force the students iPads to open the ZuluDesk Client app.
  • If the ZuluDesk Client app is switching fast from one iBeacon UUID to another one you can experience some delay on receiving the correct profiles for the latest connected iBeacon. In practice it turns out that this will most likely not happen in a school environment, but might occur in a testing environment.
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