Dots will send you meaningful notifications based on your location

Dots are Bluetooth beacons with a twist

dot in car

A prototype Dot device on a car dashboard. 

Credit: Dot

It’s happened to all of us: you walk into a room and just stand there, having completely forgotten why you came in in the first place. That’s where Dot comes in.

Dot is a low-energy Bluetooth device that interfaces with your phone via a companion app. It allows users to receive location-specific notifications or reminders once they are within range of a Dot.

Through the application, Dots can be programmed to leave digital notes to your family members or remind you to perform specific chores, such as throwing out the trash when you walk past your trashcan. The device can also be used to launch smartphone applications.

Dots essentially function as Bluetooth beacons and rely on Apple’s iBeacon technology standard. One thing that sets them apart however, is the built-in LED light which allows users to glean information about their environment with a quick glance. For example, a Dot that glows red could indicate that it’s hot outside, whereas a green-glowing Dot in your car could indicate that traffic is good.

Each device broadcasts a unique Bluetooth ID, which means that you can have several Dots in the same room that perform different functions. Dots can also be programmed to perform several functions, as long as the functions don’t interfere with one another.

Your phone figures out proximity to Dots by their signal strength. But the devices are battery powered and the signal power could change as the battery depletes, so the company is working to solve the issue in software.

dot app pic Dot

A prototype of Dot's application customization interface (left) and app store (right). 

Dots will come with an open API to allow developers to create their own apps. Currently, Dots can be ordered on Kickstarter for $20 each and are expected to start shipping in March of 2017.  

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