Numbering & Naming Beacons

One of the common questions we get is how to select a major and minor number when configuring iBeacons. Apple provides some examples, but really up to you to decide on a scheme to for the major and minor numbers. The important thing to consider when selecting the major and minor numbers is that you can “wildcard” either major or major/minor combinations. Selecting a scheme that accounts for this is important.

For example, consider if you just started to number all your beacons in sequence. If you had 100 stores and wanted to put in 10 beacons per store, you might start with a major number of “0” and number each beacon with the same major number of “0” and 0-9 for the first store, 10-19 for the second, and so on. However, if you wanted to program your app to automatically be alerted when walking in the front door of the store, you would have to register for notifications from an individual beacon at each store. Since iOS is limited to monitoring less than 20 beacon regions, you would be in the situation of requiring the user to select their “favorite” stores.

However, if you used the major number of “1” to specify the front door, major number of “2” to specify the cash register, you could use a single beacon region to monitor that zone in all of the 100 stores at once. Your app would request that iOS notify the app when entering a region of major number “2” and a wildcard for the minor number, and whenever a user is near a cash register in any of your stores, the app could do something interesting. The same goes for the front door with a major number of “1”.

Another example might be a floors in a building that have multiple entrances. If you select a major number as the floor number, and minor number as the room numbers on each floor, you could have your app notified whenever a beacon in any room on a specific floor is encountered.

Selecting a beacon major and minor number can take some planning, but it gives you a lot of flexibility later on. Our Bleu SDK provides an easy way to take your plan and easily deploy large quantities of beacons.