Beacon is a small device that uses a low-energy version of Bluetooth to broadcast its location. Modern smartphones can detect the presence and measure the approximate distance to the beacon. Apart from the obvious use for marketing and advertising (of very legitimate concerns about privacy and tracking users) beacons offer many other possibilities and allow to realize a very ambitious ideas of the Internet of Things.

We found this out by participating in two BeaconValley Hackathons. These events had one goal: to make within 24 hours a mobile application that uses’s beacons in interesting way.


The first time, in June, we designed and implemented an Android application to encourage people to books. The idea is that people at the bus stop receive a short excerpt from the book. In addition, those holding the handset could listen to an audiobook. Volume increases with a gradual approaching to the place where hidden beacon.

SmartBook app helps you discover books.

SmartBook app helps you discover books

Interested user could order the book via the internet or locate on the map bookstores that have it in stock.

City Games

The second global edition of the hackathon was held on 21-22 November. It held simultaneously in four cities: Krakow, New York, London and Guadalajara.

This time we proposed an interactive urban game designed for iOS devices (iPhone or iPad). Through interesting quests and simple interface it helps tourists explore visited places in an easy and fun way. We have prepared a sample scenario for the Museum of Monicipal Engineering in Krakow, where the event took place.

Thank you Peter, Michael, Christopher, Paul and Nicholas for fruitful cooperation and lot of fun. We learned useful technologies, spoke with representatives of many IT companies and got a bunch of gadgets. I had a great time and gained a lot of experience.