• Why do I need the #hex Beacon, why can't it be built into a smartphone instead?
There is more than one reason why hex Beacon is not built into your smartphone, these are: (i) Security (ii) Flexibility and (iii) Cost. hex Beacon is a device that establishes a direct connection with your smartphone, enabling information to be transferred between the hex beacon and the hexology app you have installed on your phone. To enable this exchange to occur, the hex Beacon opens up a channel of communication for the hexology app to access information stored. If hex Beacon technology was installed in your smartphone, then people would be able to connect to your smartphone and if there were any vulnerabilities in the software, then they might gain access to the personal information you have stored on your phone. As the hex Beacon is an external device the risk of a third party gaining access to data on your phone is removed. Furthermore, if for example an Events Organiser wanted to create a digital installation inside a venue and decides to fit a large quantity of hex Beacons at different locations inside a building, it would be too expensive and impractical to buy 30, or maybe even 100 smartphones. Instead, the hex Beacon costs $30 each, making it a flexible and an affordable solution.
• How much of hexology works without an internet connection?
hexology enables you to compose a message and store it in a real location, with or without the use of the internet. If you are writing messages into GPS locations, QR codes, Barcodes or NFC tags, you will need an internet connection. Where as, the #hex Beacon uses Low-Power Bluetooth technology to transmit information, so it is possible to read and write messages to the #hex Beacon without internet. The #hex beacon is only capable of storing text files, so any images, videos or audio files will only open when an internet connection is available. In locations without internet, perhaps at the top of a mountain where there is beautiful scenic view, hex gives access to information that would not normally be available.
• What do you mean when you say #hex and the #hexology app talk to each other?
The hexology app enables users to compose a message and store it in the hex Beacon, which broadcasts the message to other people who are also using the hexology app. The information transmitted between the hexology app and the hex Beacon, is a communication exchange that takes place using Bluetooth.
• Is the information sent by the hex beacon a pointer or a url, rather than end information in its own right?
hex beacon stores text files only, which includes links to images, videos and audio files that are online. All image files are stored on hexology’s own cloud, whereas YouTube videos and SoundCloud files are embedded using short code links.
• If I run Bluetooth on my phone all the time does it waste the battery life on my phone?
In the past, Bluetooth used up battery power quickly, but since the introduction of the new Low-power Bluetooth technology, the power consumption is negligible. You can leave Bluetooth On all day and it will not affect your battery life. In fact, Apple introduced Low-power Bluetooth in the iPhone 4S and Beacons can run for more than a year on a single battery. As more and more Bluetooth devices enter the mainstream, from health trackers to other types of connected devices, we anticipate that Low-power Bluetooth Technology will become a valuable part of every day life.
• Is there a limit to the number of Bluetooth connections #hex Beacon can make?
Unlike most Bluetooth devices, the #hexology Beacon does not need to pair with your phone. Instead, it automatically connects and disconnects with #hexology App users to quickly share information with a group of people, one person at a time.
• If a café owner places the hex beacon facing the road as a promotional tool who will he communicate with?
The cafe owner can place the hex beacon facing the street to promote themselves even when they are closed, and invite customers to get access to any special offers or extra information by installing the #hexology app. It’s up to the cafe owner to build loyalty and encourage their customers to use hexology, which empowers people to take control of this cutting-edge technology.
• What stops less scrupulous #hex operators sending messages to everyone, 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. We will be scanning our databases for offensive content and ask users to report anything they find too. We want to create the best user experience and through good user experience and software design, our goal is to enrich the world and that involves keeping hexology clean and spam free.
• How secure is the system with relation to forwarding to malicious websites, injection of malware etc.?
Protecting our users privacy, security and safety is our moral and social responsibility, and there are a number of steps we will take to ensure that we provide a safe and secure service. The hexology app uses Bluetooth, Camera, GPS and NFC services, and users are invited to opt-in to those services when they install the app, and when needed. Given that hexology is built on top of its own storage, we’ll be able to clean up unwanted content by scanning for offensive words and images. Although there is no User Authentication built into the hex Beacon, we have added Pin number access to protect user data and whilst hex Beacon offers localised storage, it is not possible to store anything other than text, which gives us some control over what gets published.
• Does geocaching transcend some of the technological limitations that are inherent with Bluetooth?
We believe the most powerful platform is one that rolls GPS, NFC, Beacon, QR and Barcode technologies into one intuitive user experience design. All of these technologies have unique characteristics, weaknesses and strengths, and the optimum method you use is wholly dependent on the application. For example, although GPS works well outdoors it does not work well indoors; moreover, if you want to share a large volume of content in a small indoor space then QR codes might be a better choice as the user can visually select the content they want. Ultimately, none of the tagging methods are better than any other, instead we recommend selecting the tagging method you use on your specific application.