Discoveries Along the Way

Testing Can Be Fun

March 31, 2015  By the Dev Team

We are in the process of building the world's best real estate beacon, the BoxBeacon. Don’t know what a BoxBeacon does? Our beacons allow home buyers to receive information about local property listings right on their smartphone as they drive by.

We've already spent countless hours drawing stuff on white boards, rebooting iPhones, learning tons of new marketing jargon, building models, searching for missing post-it notes, learning more marketing jargon, and finally comparing our prototypes to existing beacon solutions. Now we have something beautiful to test and we get to share it with all the people outside of the coding cave. Welcome to beta!

Not all designers, developers, and widget makers enjoy testing, but we believe beta testing should be fun. Now is the time we get to push the limits of our designs. Of course, we have to be responsible and derive meaning from each of our tests, but that doesn't mean we can’t be creative. We’ve asked ourselves, can we freeze a BoxBeacon? Can we toast it? Can we throw it? How does a BoxBeacon feel about swimming? How high does a BoxBeacon need to fly before it is out of range?!? Does it BLEND? Ok, the last example was a joke.

All joking aside, most of the tests listed above are about battery life and detection. The biggest challenge is to optimize the battery life, while not significantly diminishing the broadcast interval (how often the beacon cries out “I AM A BOXBEACON”) or the broadcast signal strength. All these factors determine if the beacon will work for longer than the length of an average home sale and if the beacon will be detected by a Bluetooth BLE compatible device traveling at a high rate of speed. Luckily the state of Texas encourages drivers to drive at 70+ mph in many places, including secluded roads where we could drive back and forth for several hours a day without anyone bothering us.

Some of Our Favorite Test Photos