How much of hexology’s offering will work without an internet connection?
Using our free app #hexology allows you to compose a message and publish it in places where there is no internet. Compose your text message, add links, images, sound or video and then post it to the #hex beacon which stores it. Others in the area using the #hexology app will then be able to pick up the message which is transmitted from the #hex beacon via low-power bluetooth. The #hex beacon stores text only, so links to any images on the hexology cloud, video on Youtube or audio on Soundcloud will be synced when you pick up an internet connection. In some instances of course there is no internet, perhaps at a beautiful scenic view located at the top of a mountain for example, this is when hex really does give access to information which would not normally be available.
Is the information received from the hex beacon a pointer or a url, rather than end information in its own right?
The #hex beacon stores text information and also stores any URL’s needed to retrieve any images, audio or video. This is its USP. Additionally, anything published using the #hexology app is stored on hexology’s own cloud, and that content will also in time, be accessible through a web browser.
What do you mean when you say #hex and the #hexology app have a conversation with each other?
The #hex beacon owner uses the #hexology app to compose a message and publish it to the #hex beacon, which stores it and broadcasts it out to others using the #hexology app within a 20 meter radius. It's a conversation that takes place over bluetooth.
If I run Bluetooth on my phone all the time does it waste the battery life?
In the past, Bluetooth used up battery power quickly, but since the introduction of the new Bluetooth Low-Energy the power consumption is negligible. You can leave bluetooth on all day and it won’t affect your battery life. In fact, beacons can run for more than a year on a single coin cell. To give you an idea of when Bluetooth low-energy was introduced, Apple introduced it in the iPhone 4S. Ultimately, as more and more bluetooth devices enter the mainstream, from health trackers, door-locking mechanisms and children’s games too, we anticipate that bluetooth low-energy will become more accepted and in that respect, it will become a valuable part of every day life.
If a café owner places a beacon facing towards the road as a promotional tool who will he communicate with?
The cafe owner can place a beacon facing the street to promote themselves even when they are closed, and in the process invite their customers to get access to any special offers or extra information by installing the #hexology app. #hexology empowers people to take control of this new technology and that’s a better position to be in - it’s up to the cafe owner to build loyalty and encourage their customers to use #hexology to gain access to their news.
Is there a limit to the number of bluetooth connections #hex can make?
The #hexology app does not pair with the #hex beacon, instead it connects and disconnects with the #hexology app as quickly as possible on a one person at a time basis, so it will work through a queue of people, one at a time.
What stops less scrupulous #hex operators sending messages to all #hexology users, is a filtering system in the app?
The #hexology app does not allow you to filter content yet, but it is on our development roadmap and will come in the near future. At #hexology, our main focus is on the user experience and through good design, we believe #hexology will enrich the world not saturate it with spam.
How secure is the system with relation to forwarding to malicious websites, injection of malware etc.?
We believe that the protection of our users privacy, security and safety is our moral and social responsibility, and there are a number of steps we can take to ensure that we provide a great service and experience. The new permissions model in Android 6 puts the power in people’s hands and we welcome that - #hexology uses bluetooth, camera, GPS and NFC services, and hexapp users will be invited to opt-in to those services at the start and then again when needed. Given that hexology is built on top of its own cloud storage, we’ll be able to clean up unwanted content, and although the hex device offers localised storage it’s not possible to upload anything other than text created in the #hexology app, which gives us some control over what gets published.
Does geolocating technology transcend some of the technological problems that are inherent with bluetooth?
From the beginning we realised that the most powerful platform would be one that rolled GPS, Beacon, QR and barcodes into one. Simply put, they all have different characteristics which present a different set of pros and cons depending on their application, and we understood that there are some applications where GPS technology is the obvious and best solution, and yet NFC or QR codes would be a better choice in another application. GPS is not so accurate so you wouldn’t want to rely on that in a small space, yet QR codes are cheap to produce and Beacons are frictionless. Based on what you want to do we would recommend using one over another.
Can photovoltaic cells on the exterior of the beacon be used to trickle charge the battery throughout the day?
YES and we do have some strong ideas about how we would want to tackle the design of a maintenance free version - and we are looking forward to launching that in the near future. Bring it on!!