ESP32 Bluetooth Low Energy Beacon

The esp32_ble_beacon component creates a Bluetooth Low Energy Beacon with your ESP32 device. Beacons are BLE devices that repeatedly just send out a pre-defined packet of data. This packet can then be received by devices like smartphones and can then be used to track a phone’s location.

# Example configuration entry
esp32_ble_beacon:
  type: iBeacon
  uuid: 'c29ce823-e67a-4e71-bff2-abaa32e77a98'

Configuration variables:

  • type (Required): The type of beacon to create, currently only supports iBeacon.
  • uuid (Required): The universally unique identifier to identify the beacon.
  • id (Optional, ID): Manually specify the ID for code generation.

Advanced options:

  • major (Optional, integer): The iBeacon major identifier of this beacon. Usually used to group beacons, for example for grouping all beacons in the same building, but has no effect if the BLE receiver doesn’t use it. Defaults to 10167.
  • minor (Optional, integer): The iBeacon minor identifier of this beacon. Usually used to identify beacons within an iBeacon group. Defaults to 61958.

Setting Up

First, you’ll need to set up the configuration for esphomeyaml. Just copy above configuration and change the UUID to something unique. For example, you can copy below randomly generated UUID:

Then, just compile and flash the ESP32. Note that esphomeyaml needs to increase the size of the code partitions of the ESP32 because BLE can take up a lot of space. It does this automatically, but you need to flash the ESP32 via USB when enabling or disabling this component.

When everything is set up correctly, you should see a show up using your iBeacon scanner of choice. On iPhones, this should already work from the bluetooth screen (not tested), on Android, you will need to use an app like “Beacon Scanner” by Nicolas Bridoux.

For using these beacons to track the location of your phone, you will need to use another app. For example, I used this guide by the owntracks app to let my Home Automation system know when I’m home or away.

../../_images/esp32_ble_beacon-ibeacon.png