Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do you provide beacons for my event?
A: No, you will need to provide your own hardware to use Location-Based Messages in the DoubleDutch Platform.
Q: What beacon provider do you recommend?
A: We recommend using the Kontakt.io as your beacon provider as it is the lowest cost beacon provider on the market that conforms to the iBeacon standard necessary to work with the DoubleDutch Platform. Please take note that these beacons ship from Poland so please allow up to two weeks for shipping. You are free to use any other beacon provider you’d like as long as they allow you to edit the UUID, Major, and Minor values.
Q: How do I purchase Kontakt.io Beacons?
A: Follow these steps to ensure you are purchasing the correct beacon hardware for your event.
Beacons can be purchased directly from the Kontakt website. If placing an order online, there are four compatible beacons you can choose from:
- Smart Beacon 2
- Smart Beacon
- Tough Beacon
- USB Beacon
- When ordering beacons you have the option to select either iBeacon or Eddystone profiles. Please select iBeacon profile. Eddystone is not compatible with DoubleDutch apps.
- Questions about your purchase? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Questions about beacons ? Contact email@example.com
Q: Why am I not receiving the message when I try to test?
A: If you just created the message you will need to allow up to 30 minutes for the data to refresh before the message goes out. You will also want to double check that the device you are testing with meets the requirements for compatible devices and has the correct permission settings. You can refer to this article for more help: https://customersupport.doubledutch.me/hc/en-us/articles/206266197-Setting-up-Location-Based-Messages
You may also try moving in and out of range of a beacon - this can also help messages to trigger (e.g. walk out of range of a beacon, then back in range. Alternately: open your Kontak beacon case and remove and replace the battery. This essentially stops the beacon signal, which is the same as moving out of range).
Q: I don't want to spam my attendees with messages. What can I do to prevent that?
A: The app is programmed to only trigger each message one time, per attendee. We have also added the time delays (noted above) to prevent triggering beacon messages to attendees that are just walking past a particular area, not lingering or spending time in a specific location. E.g. If you pass within range of a Survey Message beacon but move away before the 10 minute time delay elapses, then no message will be triggered.
Q: Why do messages sometimes take longer than X minutes to appear in the app?
A: At this time, the feature has been designed so each message type triggers at the following delays:
1. Welcome message - no delay (immediate)
2. Survey/Poll - 10 minute delay
3. Content message - 3 minute delay
4. Exhibitor message - 5 minute delay
Although the app has been programmed to trigger messages at these time frames, you may experience a slightly longer delay sometimes. What causes this?
For iOS, the Core Location API (built in support for BLE on iOS) allows us to essentially look for a beacon every 5-10 minutes while the app is in the background, and every 1 minute while the app is in the foreground. This is not something we have control over, as it's built in to the OS.
For Android: since iBeacon support is not built into the OS we use a 3rd party library. This is set to scan for beacon signals every 60 seconds for 1 second. We are actually in the process of updating to a new library, which will allow us to scan more frequently when the app is in the foreground vs the background. (Having more control means that we will be able to optimize for better battery life in future).
As you can see, the scanning behavior is a little different across iOS and Android, and it's also different when the app is in the background vs foreground. You might come within range of a beacon signal, but it might not be picked up for a few minutes, and at that point we would start our timers as outlined above.
Q: Can I control the range of the beacon signals?
A: Kontakt beacons have a maximum range of up to 70 meters / 230 feet if the beacon is at full power. (see: https://kontaktio.zendesk.com/hc/en-gb/articles/201621521-Transmission-power-settings). The beacon range can be reduced by setting the transmission power to a lower value.
Kontakt provides the following approximate distances for different power levels:
Power Level 1 = 4m
Power Level 4 = 35m
Power Level 7 = 70m
Note that many factors can affect the range of beacon signals: transmission power, obstacles in space (e.g. walls), also human bodies present in the venue.
Q: If I create multiple messages and associate them with one beacon, will attendees be able to receive all the messages?
A: Yes. Let's say you create message A, message B, and Message C, and they are all linked to Beacon 1, and scheduled to trigger at different times during the day. If an attendee spends time near Beacon 1 all day, then they will be eligible to receive all 3 messages. Note that each message will only trigger one time per attendee.
Q: I am testing multiple ibeacon messages, and only receiving messages from a select few, but not the other ones?
A: When testing a number of beacons on a single or multiple devices, please make sure that during this process, you regularly re-install the app. Testing multiple beacon messages will at times lead to caching issues on the device, i.e. because of intensive testing, your device won’t realize that the new message has been pushed, and will sometimes not show the message at all or be very slow to push it.
If you experience this, re-install the app and try again. Additionally, logging out and back in or clearing the cache on the device also helps during testing.