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Physical Web on OpenBeacon


The Internet of Things finally got official Bluetooth LE URL beacons! We sure could not wait till some official hardware is around, so we added support for the physical web packet protocol to existing OpenBeacon tags.

We turned our existing OpenBeacon tag design into the ultimate hacking, fuzzing and pentesting tool for Bluetooth Low Energy and released the hardware schematics and the PCB layout.

We strongly believe that the future of the Internet of Things can be privacy enabled and can work distributed without selling your soul to large cloud services. Please join our project for enabling that vision!

Open Hardware for Open Beacons!

We published our open hardware tag design and are giving away 42 tags for free till end of November. To ensure that only people who actually care get a free tag, please send a hand written postcard to:

Milosch & Brita Meriac
1 Neath Farm Court
GB-CB1 3EX Cambridge
United Kingdom

Please make sure to include your email address in the postcard so we can ask you for your address. We will take the nicest postcards and publish them here - all published postcards get a free tag. If your postcard is exceptional, we’ll bend the 42-tag-rule :-).

For everyone else - please wait a few days so we can sort out online ordering for the tags. Any kind of support for our project is highly appreciated.

Future Plans

Join the development! Get our hardware design files to build your own physical web tags.
During the course of this night we’ll release all hardware design files for the tag and the 3D printed tag programmer.

We are considering to do a kickstarter for FCC & CE certification and a nice plastic case. Please share your thoughts with us.

Please stay tuned for exciting software in the spirit of our RFID hacking project for this new tag to:

  • simulate 100s of tags at the same time with different MAC adresse - see how your phones copes :-)
  • sniff & replay beacon packets from other Beacons at random transmit strength: enable privacy in a radius of 30 meters
  • our beaconing firmware is implemented on the bare SoC: no annoying SoftDevice that limits your possibilities

To whet your appetite, please have a look into our proximity detection firmware for:

  • fully encrypted tag-to-tag interaction
  • AES encryption and packet signing
  • 3D accelerometer code for angular detection
  • true random generation and 8MB flash support

Hardware Specification

  • 3D accelerometer for real-time movement detection
  • OpenBeacon proximity & tracking protocol
  • 8MB of external flash for offline-logging of tag-to-tag proximity encounters
  • Bluetooth low energy protocol
  • 32-bit ARM Cortex M0 CPU based on the nRF51822 SoC from Nordic Semiconductors)
  • 256KB flash 16KB RAM

Hello World Firmware

Grab your OpenBeacon tag and reflash it with the latest source code. The firmware just sits there and continuously transmits the URL - but here is so much more your can do with OpenBeacon.