What’s new in Prota Space and Beacon updates

Hi everyone!

It’s about time we inform you regarding what we have been working on during the past two months. We have been striving to bring ease to our beloved users. Let’s now have a quick review of these updates!

What’s new in Prota Space

You may have noticed already (or not yet) but, since the last update of Prota Space, a little icon ‘NEW’ has now appeared at the top right corner. We wanted to communicate the new features and bug fixes to our users effortlessly. That is why we created this ‘What’s new’ feature.

What is it?

When clicking on the ‘NEW’ icon in Prota Space, you get access easily and immediately to our ‘Release notes’ that are usually available in our Community here. There, you can find out about the new features we developed recently, the changes we made and the bugs we fixed. You do not need anymore to check our website to learn about our updates and new features, a simple touch in Prota Space is now enough to be fully informed.

What’s New page on Prota Space

As always, if you are having an issue or if a bug you have does not appear on the release note’s list, do not hesitate to contact our Support team on support.thenaran.com!

Improved iBeacon feature

Back in May, we were proud to introduce our new iBeacon feature in a dedicated blog article that you can read here. Since then, we have kept working on improving it to make things easier for our users, better its precision and fix some bugs. Let’s now discover the changes!

As a quick reminder, a Beacon(MicroBot device itself) is any object turned into a signal emitter that communicates to nearby smartphones via BLE as soon as they get in range. Using Prota, you can turn your MicroBot Push into a Beacon and start automating your home depending on the range you determined. To learn how, check this guide.

What was improved

New sensors

As we endlessly attempt to bring the best experience to our users and simplify the use, in Stories app, we have created two new sensors and reduced the original numbers of sensors to these two only: ‘come within the beacon area’ and ‘go outside the beacon area’.

In the previous version, there were 4 sensors: ‘within area’, ‘exit area’, ‘enter to beacon region’ and ‘exit to beacon region’. Here, the ‘beacon region’ refers to the maximum distance covered by the beacon — 70 meters in the case of Prota’s beacon.We found out that such events can be confusing since the beacon’s region is not related to the range defined by the user but related to the beacon’s own specifications.

Therefore, to prevent any confusion and make the sensor-events easier to use, we have decided to deprecate the events ‘enter to beacon region’ and ‘exit to beacon region’. This means that users are not able anymore to use these events to create stories. However, the notification showing that a beacon was detected when you are within a 70m range remains.

And we integrated the former events into two new sensor-events:

  • ‘come within the beacon area’
  • ‘go outside the beacon area’
New sensor-events for Beacon in Stories app

Using the new sensors

With these two new events, the ‘Beacon area’ refers to the range a user has chosen when setting the Beacon. The range can be set from 1 meter to 70 meters. Therefore, users are now able to use the Beacon service only for the range that they set.

To use Prota’s Beacon feature, everything takes place in Stories app, thus giving you the freedom to adapt the service to your wishes.

  • Receive a push notification to know whether you are within the beacon’s reach

We decided to give you the choice whether you want to be informed whenever you enter/exit the beacon’s area you have chosen. Using Stories app, you can create a push notification corresponding to your needs!

  • Trigger an action or storyline or secure a storyline with beacon

Thanks to Prota’s beacon’s improved accuracy, users can trigger a story (i.e. automation rule) or an action when they enter or exit the beacon’s set range. Get your lights turned off when you exit a room or the music turned on when you get home thanks to Prota’s beacon, hands-free!

Turn on your Bluetooth speaker when you’re here with iBeacon

Some conditions

In order to use the Beacon feature, some conditions must be met. Scanning nearby beacons and triggering the related stories are submitted to some restrictions. Depending on its screen status, your smartphone will be able to scan beacons for a period of time or not.

  • Screen in sleep mode: your device scan beacons within a 70m range for 3 minutes. Therefore, you will receive the notification showing a beacon was detected if you are within 70m. However, in sleep mode, stories’ Beacon events are not detected. No stories involving beacons will work.
  • Screen locked: scanning is done but for a few seconds only.
  • Screen unlocked or when using other apps: scanning will be allowed for 3 minutes.
  • On app/Using Prota Space app: your device will keep scanning nearby beacons and trigger stories when the relevant events are detected.

Besides, there are some conditions to be changed in Settings:

  • Background App refresh must be turned on.
  • Location access must always be allowed to Prota Space app. To allow the access, go to Settings > Prota Space app > Location and select ‘Always’. Once your MicroBot Push-turned beacon is detected by your smartphone, you will receive a notification inviting you to turn on your location settings.

Note: If you cancel this notification, it will not appear again to alert you. Make sure the conditions detailed above are met to use Prota’s Beacon feature.

The Beacon feature is available for MicroBot Push 2nd Generation and iOS devices (iPhone/iPad) supporting the iBeacon technology only.


What’s next

We will soon share with you what’s coming up next for Prota and MicroBots. So, keep an eye on our blog!

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