If your office is like ours, you have an open-plan layout and ‘quiet rooms’ you can escape to when you need to concentrate or hold impromptu meetings. Our legacy room-booking system is pretty cumbersome. For starters, you have to put a meeting in Outlook before you can reserve a room. If you don’t, and simply occupy a seemingly unoccupied space, you risk being thrown out five minutes later.
As a compromise, not all our rooms are ‘bookable’ . Most zones have a few ‘in-zone’ spaces that can only be reserved manually – by pencilling in your booking in a ledger or putting up a sticky-note with your name and the time you need it. Quickly finding a space to sit down in private with a colleague or finding a space for an internal meeting day after tomorrow, thus means running around checking.
BeamWriter now offers an alternative. By putting a (physical) beacon in a (physical) room AND associating it with the corresponding ‘bookable’ BeamWriter ‘room’, you can see what rooms are free, when they will be free if occupied, and make a reservation, all on your phone, without leaving your desk.
Check out this blog post for a run-down on using beacons with BeamWriter.
Get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like help setting it up in your office!
You can now log in to your BeamWriter account at www.beamwriter.com and get access to your beams, decide how to advertise services, start and stop beams and project results directly in the browser.
Click ‘Log in to your BeamWriter account’ to get started. Note that you still have to create an account and define services on your iPhone/iPad – doing that on the web is on the to-do list but not implemented yet.
When logged in, you see your Beams and can click to start beaming or to project the live results in a separate browser tab.
You can decide where and how to advertise your beams by selecting ‘Advertising’ or clicking on the loudspeaker for an individual beam when it is live (i.e. not crossed out).
BeamWriter was designed to help you get that initial contact with potential new customers and partners when presenting or displaying at a show or fair.
With BW4 this is easier than ever. Place a beacon on your stand or in the lecture hall and beam a ‘Get the Email’ service. Your future customer receives an email with key information, invitation to a lottery – or anything else that works in your setting.
When you are done, press the ‘Statistics’ icon to share the resulting list of email addresses for the people who requested your mail.
When you put a beacon in a room and set it to beam an email service on permanent basis, you build-up a database of visitors over time.
Share the resulting list in an email to yourself and you have an excellent starting point for follow-up.
In this post we will walk you through the steps you need to take to get and assign Beacons to Rooms. Note that as of now, only Estimote Location beacons (the newest model) are supported.
Start by ordering your beacons directly from Estimote (www.estimote.com). Order standard beacons (not ‘stickers’). Depending on the size of the room you want to put the beacon in and where in the room you can put it, you may need more than one beacon. The maximum range of the beacon can be found on Estimote’s web site, but is something like 80 yards / 70 meters. NB – make sure you use a real email address that you have access to when ordering. The email becomes you Estimote user name – and you will need it.
When you receive your beacons, you need to create an Estimote account using the same email address you used when ordering.
Once you have the beacons in hand and an account set up with Estimote, the beacons must be transferred to email@example.com:
Make sure all of them have the Estimote default UUID (B9407F30-F5F8-466E-AFF9-25556B57FE6D)
Click Transfer at the top of the screen
Type the email address of the new owner – ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’. Be careful when typing (copying recommended) the email address. If you make a mistake and there by accident is someone registered with the email you did type, you need to ask them to re-assign the beacon to you (see ‘Have beacons, but can’t access them?‘ ) or get Estimote’s help. Unfortunately we cannot do it.
The beacons have now been transferred and can be used in the app. You still have to claim them though. You do this by pressing Room and either creating a new Room or editing an existing. If you make sure the beacon is no more than half a meter away from your phone, the ‘Add new beacon’ button will light up after a little while. Once lit up – press it to see the new beacon(s), then press ‘claim’ on the beacons. They are now put into the room.
You can later free the beacons up again. They remain your beacons and cannot be claimed by anyone else and you are free to assign them to a different room.