I don’t recall ever having lost track of where I parked my car, but I know people who occasionally do, particularly when they visit unfamiliar locations. Christoph had a cool idea on how to use OwnTracks to pinpoint the location where you last exited your vehicle.

OwnTracks for iOS (and very soon also OwnTracks for Android) has support for iBeacons which let it quite precisely locate an iBeacon and, in particular, fire a transition event when approaching or leaving a beacon.

I configure OwnTracks to track a beacon by setting up a region on the device. Attila is the name I associate with the beacon, and the funny number behind it is the UUID of the iBeacon.

  "desc": "*Attila:DEADBEEF-ABBA-CDEF-1001-000000000001:1:2",
  "rad": -1,
  "lon": 7.47,
  "lat": 42.034,
  "tst": 1450453843,
  "_type": "waypoint"

The iBeacon itself I just chuck into the glove box of the car. When I get into the car or exit it, OwnTracks fires a transition event, and the app places the beacon icon on the map to indicate its current position.

iBeacon on OwnTracks app

The transition event itself is published to your MQTT broker and our Recorder, say, will store it accordingly. (It is a leave event as I am leaving the car; upon returning to the iBeacon in the car an appropriate enter event is fired.)

  "desc": "*Attila",
  "tid": "jp",
  "t": "b",
  "tst": 1451380551,
  "acc": 163.4991504437675,
  "_type": "transition",
  "event": "leave",
  "lon": 13.38506413201261,
  "lat": 52.51784009344821,
  "wtst": 1450453843

This way I always have the position of my car with me in case I once do forget where I’ve parked it.

GPS, iBeacon, and OwnTracks :: 02 Jan 2016 :: e-mail