Frequently Asked Questions
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PlaceApp

PlaceApp is available for iPhone and iPad on Apple's App Store, and for Android on GooglePlay.
PlaceApp  Get it on Google Play

iBeacons can be used on iPhone 4s and above, and iPad 3 and above. Since Beacons use Bluetooth, locations, wifi/cellular, notifications and background refresh. There is a fairly sizable set of permissions to check which need to be enabled. These include:

Enable Bluetooth. PlaceApp detects Beacons which are transmitting on Bluetooth channels. Bluetooth must be enabled for a user to find Beacons. Manage Bluetooth under Settings >> Bluetooth.

Enable Wifi/Cellular. Once PlaceApp detects a Beacon, it will reach back across the internet to retrieve content for this location/place. You will need to have Wifi and/or Cellular enabled to retrieve beacon content. Manage Wifi or Cellular under Settings >> Wifi and/or Cellular. Make sure they are enabled, and data connected to the Internet.

Enable Location Services for Place. PlaceApp needs permission to know your location to function. Manage Location Services for PlaceApp under Settings. Go to: Settings >> General >> Location Services. Here select and enable Place.

Enable Background App Refresh for Place. PlaceApp works by refreshing content data in the app as you encounter Beacons. In order to show you beacon content, you must have Background Refresh enabled. Manage Location Services for PlaceApp under Settings >> General >> Background App Refresh (It’s toward the bottom of the General screen).

Notification Services for PlaceApp. If you would like to receive notification when you have approached and are within range of a new location that has beacons, you will want to enable Notification services for PlaceApp. Manage Notification Services for PlaceApp under Settings >> Notification Center >> PlaceApp, and enable the following notification services: Badge App Icon, Sound, Show in Notification Center, Show on Lock Screen.

When you first launch PlaceApp, it needs to synchronize with Internet server to 'know' what beacons it should be looking for. If you are not attached to the Internet when you launch the first time, this data synchronization process can fail. This is very easy to restart, you need to completely quit the app (so it is not running in background either), and then relaunch it. Do this when you are attached to the internet, and it will restart the synchronization, so PlaceApp can learn what beacons it needs to know about.

If you are still having trouble, please use the support contact form and we'll help you.

Notification Alerts will only occur once per location per 24 hour period. And only if your PlaceApp is not currently active and is encountering a beacon and running in the background.

Also, you must have Notification Services for PlaceApp enabled. If you would like to receive notification when you have approached and are within range of a new location that has beacons, you will want to enable Notification services for PlaceApp. Manage Notification Services for PlaceApp under Settings >> Notification Center >> PlaceApp, and enable the following notification services: Badge App Icon, Sound, Show in Notification Center, Show on Lock Screen.

PlaceApp always tries to display beacon content that is closest to you. Typically PlaceApp double checks to make sure a beacon is closest, but sometimes when you are in a multiple beacon environment and roughly equi-distant between 2 or more beacons, the system may toggle between content. To prevent this, walk closer toward a beacon place so that you are closer to one than another other. You may need to pause here a moment to let it settle, since we have seen that devices processing the beacon signals have a delay in them (depending on your devices' processing speed) and may take up to 10-15 seconds to clear any beacon signal backlogs.

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PlaceConnect

There are 2 form of audio options. 'Inline Audio' Type is inline, or flows with the beacon content, but has the disadvantage of taking you away from the content to actually play the audio. 'Audio' Type is special window that allows you to play audio while simultaneously viewing the beacon content, and is usually the preferable option.

We recommend you put the audio somewhere web accessible location, in an .mp3 format and point the url to your audio and viola... You'll see it in your beacon content.

When you use a template (with variables) to render beacon content, you will typically have "styles and spacing" set in your template. If you select a style for a specific content item, this style is automatically added as part of the variable. When using a template, and in the case of special types of variables like images, url links, video links and audio links, this extra "styling" can interfere with image rendering and url rendering.

To resolve this issue, you might need to go back to your content items that you are using for a template and select the ------ option in the style pop-down (including on images). This should alleviate the rendering issues.

When rendering an ordered content list, you may or may not desire to add a style to the content item, so you may decide to either choose ----- option, or another non-blank style option.

Thumbnail image is part of the main point of interest (poi) configuration, rather than a 'content item' that you add to the poi. Go into the point of interest you want to edit. Near the top, you will see an 'edit' button. This will take you to the point of interest main configuration screen where you can upload a thumbnail image. Please note: thumbnail images must be between 80 to 160 pixels high, and 80 to 160 pixels wide.

Missing content message appears when you are using a template that is expecting certain pieces of content to exist, but it does not exist. Go into that Point of Interest, and make sure you have created content (and named the content using the variable name) for every variable in your selected template.

One of the easiest ways you can use or embed a form is to use Google Forms. Create a form in Google Forms, determine questions and your forms behavior there. When you are ready with your form, just choose the 'share' option and you can copy the short link into a PlaceBMS 'html' content field in PlaceBMS. To embed the form on the screen, simply select embed and copy the embed code that is generated (an iframe), into a PlaceBMS 'html' content field. Super easy and powerful.

It involves a few steps on your part within your SoundCloud account and then you can construct a streaming URL for each audio clip.

Step 1 - Register a SoundCloud application
1. Sign into your SoundCloud account and go to http://soundcloud.com/you/apps
2. This step might not be needed if it's your first application: click "Register New Application".
3. Type in the app name you want to use. This doesn't show up anywhere, so you can choose whatever you want, e.g. "My Company Account". Check the box agreeing to terms and conditions and click "Register".
4. On the next page, you will see "Client ID" and "Client Secret". You can leave the other fields empty ("Website of your app" and "Redirect URI for Authentication"). You will need to insert the Client ID into each URL when you configure the audio for your Point of Interest. To find the Client ID at a future time, you can go to http://soundcloud.com/you/apps again and click on your app.

Step 2 - Find the Track ID
1. On your SoundCloud home page, find your clip and click "Share".
2. At the top of the popup, click "Embed"
3. Copy the URL and paste it into another app in which you can read it.
4. You'll see the track ID in the URL (e.g. the number in red-bold below):
https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/229424867&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true

Step 3 - Create the Audio URL for streaming
1. Create a URL that looks like this:
https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/TRACK_ID/stream?client_id=CLIENT_ID
For example, my test track URL looks like this:
https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/229424867/stream?client_id=19b56c1555f911ec91724f15b224d13d
2. Paste that URL into the "Audio URL" for your Point of Interest.
3. Test

This is a bit of work, but once you have the Client ID, you use the same one for every track. It would be nice if getting the track ID were easier. We'll let you know if we find an easier method.

If the base core design styles are not adequate for your needs, and you want complete design control over content served, you can use a content template, or utilize a redirect URL to serve content from a mobile website. In creating/editing a point of interest (poi), you will select Content Type. Use Redirect URL and enter a url of your design, or select Template and pick a template of your own design. By default, PlaceConnect uses core modern CSS design of twitter bootstrap. You can replace this design, and substitute your own. For more information on creating templates, see the PlaceBMS user manual. For information on bootstrap, please go to Get Bootstrap.

YES. You can have a redirection URL to view the website, and also have an audio file play. Create your point of interest and make it a URL redirection, then in the content area of the poi, add content of "Audio type" and have it map to an audio file. Try it, it is very cool.

PlaceBeacons

Nope. You can use any Beacons from any manufacturer that supports iBeacon technology. PlaceBeacons can be used if you want, but if you want to use Beacons from Whizz, Estimote, Roximity, Kontact.io or any others it is not a problem. To get your third-party beacons added to your PlaceConnect platform, you can just let us know.

If you are using small square beacons with a 2450 coin operated battery, the flashing beacon and the 3 sounds is okay. It usually occurs when you put a battery in, or if you were connected to the beacon and disconnected from it. Either way, it's probably fine. But let us know if you need instructions on how to test it to make sure it is still ranging.

Yes!! Amazing Beacon technology has arrived in the form of solar powered beacons that operate in as little as 200 lux of light, and pulse at 900ms (faster than many battery powered beacons.) These solar beacons are jsut now coming on the market, and were developed in partnership with Place Global, Cypress Semiconductor and Whizz Systems.

Battery performance is one of the downsides of many iBeacon implementations. Fortunately battery life has continued to improve, and non-battery iBeacon options are now also available. Generally, the amount of iBeacon battery life is dependent on a number of factors. 1) the frequency in which the beacon pulses. For 2AA battery beacons (which last longer) we recommend having the beacons pulse every 500ms. For coin operated beacons, like 2045 batteries, we recommend setting the beacons to pulse every 2 seconds to not burn the batteries out too quickly. 2) The battery size, of course, is another factor. Larger beacons/batteries have longer life than smaller ones. In our testing, we have currently seen about 8-9 month practical life of 2045 coin batteries, and more than a year and a half on 2AA batteries. However, results can vary. If you want to reduce the headache, and lower your long term total cost of ownership, look into our new Solar beacon options, which can operate in indoor and outdoor environments.

To change the 2045 battery for colored beacons with housing, You will need:

--A small computer screw driver, pocket knife or some other tool to get into the seam.
--A battery: Coin style battery: Size 2045

1) Pop open the cover:
  A) Lay the beacon flat on a table with seam facing up. Position the the beacon so the hole is in the upper left corner.
  B) Use your small screw driver or knife to press into the middle of the bottom seam and pop the cover up and off.
  
2) Carefully remove the battery:
  A) Carefully loosen the beacon with your screwdriver or knife from the plastic holds (don't pull it out since there are 2 wires attached to the antenna.
  B) Tilt the case up so that the whole beacon is on it's side (the hole should be at the top now.)
  C) Carefully rotate the board out from the top of the beacon to expose the battery. You should notice 2 wires, don't pull on them, they are attached to the antenna.
  D) With your screwdriver or knife, lift the semi-circle metal flap that is holding the battery in.
  E) Poke the opposite side of the battery with your tool and ease the battery out.
  
3) Replace the Battery:
  A) Slide the new battery in. Please note: The + sign and the battery text should be facing out, away from the board.
  B) Use your hand and squeeze the semi-circle flap back down
  
4) Reset the board into the Beacon:
  A) Tilt the beacon so that it is flat again, and align the top of the board (the little hold in the board) matches with plastic prong from the case.
  B) Press the board so the top prong AND the bottom fix into the beacon and are secured.
  
5) Replace the cover:
  A) Align the cover hole with the beacon housing hold, you will see a notch at the top of the cover. Align that notch.
  B) Press in the top and then press in the bottom. The beacon should snap shut.

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