Tutorial: How to use your BBC micro:bit as an iBeacon

Posted by in BBC micro:bit, iBeacon in Education

Year 7 students all over the UK are having a great time learning to program with the BBC’s micro-bit, so we were desperate to join in the fun!  So here is a quick tutorial on how you can turn your micro:bit into an iBeacon:

  • First create an account on Locly Sandbox and login: https://locly.com/login (either using a browser or the iPad/iPhone mobile app).
  • Click on the ‘Beacons’ tab in the top navigation bar, and then on the green ‘Add Beacon’ button.
  • A pop-up will appear and you’ll see a drop-down list under ‘Zone’.  Select ‘Locly B’ as your beacon type.
  • Next click on the blue ‘Pre-assign Major & Minor’ to get your unique Major and Minor numbers. Click on the green ‘Add’ button to finish.
  • From the ‘Beacon Details’ page, click on the ‘BBC micro:bit’ button to download the program onto your computer.
  • Finally, connect the micro:bit to your computer and then drag the downloaded program onto it. This then codes the micro:bit with your unique major and minor numbers. Your micro:bit is now transmitting as a beacon!

That’s it!  To check that the micro:bit is transmitting as a beacon, open the Locly Sandbox mobile app to search for Nearby Beacons.  You will see your beacon’s major and minor numbers at the top of the list. You can then detach the micro:bit from the computer and plug-in a compatible power pack to keep transmitting as a beacon.

With Locly Sandbox you can go on to associate content with this beacon, which will be picked up by the Locly app on an iPhone or iPad when it’s nearby.  Over a million micro:bits have been given to UK schools, which is a lot of beacons, so let’s get them transmitting!

All these details can be found in the following video demo on YouTube. Coming soon is a tutorial on how to use your micro:bit to transmit any web link on the Physical Web!