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Frequently Asked Questions

General

What geofencing solutions does Bluedot provide?

Our location technology for mobile apps powers meaningful interactions between brands and their customers across key industries including retail, quick-service restaurants, grocery, and transportation. With pinpoint accuracy, our geofencing solutions can identify when a mobile app user arrives at a business, places mobile orders at drive-thrus, arrives at a curbside or pickup spot, or passes a toll location.

Learn more about our geofencing solutions:

What is geofencing?

Geofencing is the use of geofences or Geolines™ to deliver a frictionless experience to customers.

A geofence is a virtual perimeter around a specific location that measures when someone with a mobile device enters or exits the digital boundary in the physical world. These digital boundaries are typically pre-defined by marketers and mobile product owners through geofencing software.

Once a customer crosses the virtual perimeter, this information, usually called location data, can be used to power frictionless experiences such as mobile order ahead, curbside pickup, drive-thru, cashless tolling, and more.

Learn more about geofencing here.

How does geofencing work for drive-thru?

Our award-winning geofencing technology is the only solution that can power frictionless drive-thru experiences.

With pinpoint accuracy, our geofences and Geolines™are set around the restaurant drive-thru to instantly detect when a customer enters the drive-thru, arrives at the pickup window, and exits the drive-thru lane. This enables restaurants to distinguish between walk-in, curbside pickup, and drive-thru customers and deliver timely orders with significantly shorter wait times.

Our time-based arrival technology, Tempo, ensures restaurants understand when mobile order customers are 10 min, 5 min, 2 min away (customizable time duration) allowing them to fire off tickets at just the right time.

Geofencing for drive-thru means restaurants can serve more customers with increased throughput and better operational efficiency.

How does geofencing work for curbside pickup?

Restaurants, grocers, retailers, and brands can easily set geofences around their designated curbside pickup parking area to be instantly notified when order ahead customers arrive. As soon as they park (crossing the virtual geofence), the customer is automatically checked-in and receives confirmation that a staff member will be headed out with their order shortly.

Geofencing the curbside pickup area eliminates the hassle of customers needing to manually check-in via text, web, phone (with potentially no answer and no voicemail option), or worse, go in-store to get someone’s attention.

Staff is alerted via an in-store Bluedot Hello Screen with the relevant order details so they can quickly deliver the order carside.

Learn more about how curbside pickup works here.

How does geofencing work for cashless tolling?

Toll operators can embed the Bluedot Point SDK into their mobile tolling app to offer drivers a cashless tolling experience. With the tolling app installed and location turned on, drivers simply hop in the car, drive, and arrive without ever needing to stop, fumble with cash, get a transponder, or remember to pay the mailed toll bill later.

Our geofences and Geolines™ auto-detect when a driver is entering a tolling area – even at high speeds. Our geofencing technology enables automated mobile app payments by understanding direction, heading, and which lane the driver is using to charge accordingly – whether HOV, carpool, or cash lanes. Once the driver has safely arrived at their destination, they confirm the tolling payment in the app and can view the receipt.

Learn more about how tolling is being reinvented here.

Do I need an app?

Yes. Our geofencing technology works by embedding our Point SDK into your mobile app.

Will you build my app?

Sorry, we don’t build custom apps ourselves. We’re a technology company focused on R&D and globally scalable solutions that can support the creative ideas of our clients.

We have instead established partnerships with a range of experienced app developers and other partners who can help you with custom solutions that use the Point SDK.

Please email us at hello@bluedot.io if you would like to be connected to any of our partners. We’ll help you find the perfect development partner for your project.

Do you work with partners?

Yes. We partner with leading digital agencies from around the world to help enterprise clients unlock the power of location.

Want to partner with us? Learn more about the Bluedot partner experience here.

What integrations do you have?

Our geofencing platform integrates with major marketing clouds (e.g. Salesforce, Oracle, etc.), customer data platforms (e.g. mParticle, Segment, etc.), customer engagement platforms (e.g.Airship, Braze, etc.), mobile ordering platforms (e.g. Olo), and more.

See a list of our integrations and learn how you can do more with Bluedot Integrations. Completing your tech stack has never been easier.

What customer service does Bluedot provide?

We want you to have the best possible experience using our geofencing platform. We provide a variety of support options for our clients, including email-based support via support@bluedot.io, joint Slack channels, direct phone support for enterprise-level clients, and more.

We also suggest you refer to the user guides and other supporting material to get optimal performance and functionality for your app.

How secure and privacy-friendly is Bluedot's geofencing platform?

We take security and privacy seriously. We’ve developed our technology so that it promotes industry-leading privacy protection. At no point do we track or collect the personal information of your end-users. We suggest you read our Privacy Declaration and Privacy Policy for the details!

We also employ state of the art security measures, such as bank-level SSL encryption standards on all communication between the Bluedot backend and your application. The Bluedot backend and services are hosted on dedicated infrastructure in a secure data center with comprehensive security and redundancy measures.

Any billing details you provide are not recorded or stored by Bluedot Innovation. They’re entered directly into the integrated payment interface of our payment gateway provider, Braintree Payments Inc. (a subsidiary of PayPal), in accordance with PCI DSS requirements.

Can I use one set of Bluedot app credentials for multiple projects?

Yes, you can use a single set of Bluedot app credentials for multiple projects. However, for easier data analysis, we recommend that you create a new Bluedot app for each project.

Point SDK

What does the Point SDK do?

The Point SDK is software that can be integrated into iOS and Android apps to make them ‘location-aware’. It enables smartphones and tablets to react to predefined geographic locations (geofences as precise as several meters wide).

You can select from a range of pre-built actions that the mobile device will perform when entering these locations, including sending messages, opening websites, playing tones and more. You can also set specific conditions for these actions to take place, such as the date, time and travel path of the device. All of these can quickly be set using our intuitive user interface or the REST-based public APIs and allow high levels of customization.

By intelligently managing various location determination techniques and instruments, the Point SDK manages to deliver precise location awareness but without the battery drain usually associated with precise GPS-based solutions.

You don’t need any hardware or infrastructure to use the Point SDK, which means that you can use it in situations where there are many users, many locations or where locations change over time. It’s a flexible, cost-effective and scalable way to interact with your end-users exactly when and where you want to.

What platforms and operating system versions are the Point SDK compatible with?

The Point SDK is compatible with both iOS and Android operating systems.

  • For iOS, the minimum requirement is iOS 10.0 and later.
  • For Android devices, the minimum requirement is Android 4.0 – ICS (API level 14) and later.
Where can I access an example of how to integrate the Point SDK into an app?

You can find Bluedot Sample Apps on GitHub for both iOS (Swift and Objective-C) and Android. These Sample Apps provide an example of how to integrate the Point SDK into an app.

Is the Point SDK battery efficient?

The Point SDK has been designed and engineered based on extensive R&D to ensure the battery consumption is minimized. Based on proprietary and patented IP, the SDK uses a wide range of available sensors in a device to manage the battery power usage efficiently, even when the device is checking into multiple locations. This results in less than 1/10 of the battery drain of typical geofencing solutions.

Can the Point SDK be used in cross-platform mobile development?

Yes, the Point SDK is available as a Cordova plugin through the npm repository. If your cross-platform mobile development framework is built on Cordova (or PhoneGap) you can use our Point SDK directly out of the npm repository.

A Cordova-based example project is available on GitHub.

The documentation on the use of the Cordova plug-in is available here.

Do you have support for Apple Swift?

Yes, The Point SDK for iOS can be used in Swift projects as of v1.4.

In order to use our SDK, the minimum required XCode version is 9.2.

If you are keen to integrate with your Swift projects sooner, we have an example Swift Integration with Point SDK available from our GitHub page (PointSDK-SampleApp-iOS-Swift).

As the Swift language is still an emerging standard, this should be considered Beta and subject to continual change.

Please contact us, if you require assistance.

What happens if I have multiple apps using the Point SDK?

Clients and partners may have multiple apps that simultaneously use the Point SDK. These can be managed easily under the same Bluedot account. 

Can I use the Point SDK for an enterprise level solution?

Yes. The Point SDK and our back-end system – Bluedot Canvas – have been designed to scale and handle the high volumes needed for enterprise solutions. The leading technologies and innovative methods we use allow the Point SDK to support virtually any number of users and scale to thousands of locations.

Contact us if you’re an enterprise-level client to discuss possible packages.

Mobile App

What are the steps to be performed if I'm unable to receive data after successful authentication?

A minimum, functional data set requires Zones, Geofences, and Actions to be included. These are sent to the user’s device as part of a package of data when the device is authenticated. The absence of these rules can result in a no data response.

What should I check if a Zone has triggered once but is not triggering after entering more than once?

Once an Action is triggered for a Zone, it is suppressed until the Minimum Re-Trigger Time (MRT) configured for the Zone has expired. The MRT is to stop spam and unwanted continuous triggering while a device remains within a Geofence. Wait for the MRT to expire or reduce the MRT. Be advised that a shorter MRT may result in more frequent triggering and greater battery drain.

I have configured a Zone, Geofence, and an Action, but they are not triggering. What should I do?

In order to trigger an Action, it is necessary to both be within the relevant Zone and to have all configured Conditions satisfied. Please confirm that the Conditions have been configured correctly and that they are being satisfied. If an Action was triggered once but is not triggering again, the Minimum Retrigger Time (MRT) may not have expired (see preceding question). If Checkout has been enabled, then the Zone won’t trigger again until you exit the Zone.

Are there any triggering limitations while the Point SDK is running in the background?

There are no triggering limitations for an app running the Point SDK in the background on either Android or iOS.

How are Actions triggered by the Point SDK while it runs in background?

The Android and iOS operating systems handle background processing slightly differently:

  • For Android, Actions triggered in the background have the same response as running in the foreground.
  • For iOS, the Message and URL Actions are posted as local notifications when they are triggered while your app is in the background. For a URL, your app will be returned to the foreground and the user will be redirected to the configured URL in the device’s default browser. For a message, your app will be returned to the foreground.
Can I queue notifications when the app is in the background and display them when the app is in the foreground?

The Actions that are pre-set for ease of use (e.g. Message, URL, Sound) are executed immediately when a Zone is triggered. The callback from a Custom Action can be utilized to queue an Action while the app is in the background. These are methods that are called from the Point SDK to your app with relevant information (e.g. name of the Zone and the Geofence, coordinates of the location of the triggered Action).

Is it possible to send JSON data in a Message Action when a Zone is triggered?

It is not recommended to send complex JSON data within a Message Action. Instead, we recommend that you use a Custom Action to provide your app with the trigger information and then perform any post-processing.

Will the Point SDK work if a user turns off Location Services or GPS?

The Point SDK will not work if the user turns off Location Services on the device. Should Location Services for a device not be available, your app will receive a callback requesting user intervention to resolve the issue.

Will the Point SDK work if Wi-fi or Mobile Data is turned off?

The Point SDK requires internet connectivity to authenticate and download the configured Zones. Once the configured rules have been passed to and cached on the device, internet connection is no longer required to Checkin and trigger most Actions (unless an Action requires an internet connection, such as opening a URL). If there is no connection, Check-In and Check-Out data will be queued and then sent to the backend once a connection is re-established. A connection is also needed to carryout a download of new rules that have been configured, such as when the Rule Download Interval expires.

Is it possible to report the time a device has spent inside a Geofence (Dwell Time)?

Yes, we provide a Dwell Time function. The relevant Zone must have Checkout enabled. The time spent by the device within a Geofence between Checkin and Checkout will be reported by the SDK. This Action will also be returned as a callback to the app if a Custom Action has been added to the Zone.

How can my app redirect the user to a customized page using Bluedot Actions?

A Message or URL Action generated by the Point SDK does not allow you to pass any additional metadata (these are utilized only for simple strings).  A Custom Action will make a callback to your app upon triggering a Geofence, thereby allowing you to perform any additional processing required within your app using the information from a trigger.

Please refer to the developer documentation on how to configure Zones with a Custom Action here.

iOS

Will the Point SDK receive notifications after the app is deleted from the system tray?

The Point SDK can be configured to restart after being deleted from the system tray. Once the app restart functionality has been implemented, the user will be prompted with a local notification after the device has moved a significant distance (determined by iOS) to restart the app. 

Please refer to App Restart documentation for more information.

Does the Point SDK support iPads?

Yes, if the iPad has GPS functionality. A Wi-Fi or Cellular Internet connection is required for optimized use, authentication and rule downloads.

What is the minimum version of iOS required to run the Point SDK?

iOS 10.0 and above for version 1.11.2 of the Point SDK onwards.

Do you have support for Apple Swift?

Yes, the Point SDK for iOS can be used in Swift projects. In order to use the Point SDK, the minimum required XCode version is 9.2.

We have an example Swift Integration with Point SDK available on our GitHub page. As the Swift language is still an emerging standard, this should be considered Beta and subject to continual change. Please contact us if you require any assistance.

Android

Why does my device receive a network connection error while authenticating with the Point SDK?

A network error can be related to either of the following issues:

  • Network outage on the device where there is no Wi-Fi or data connection.
  • Security Providers are not up to date, which may happen on Android devices below 5.0. For this scenario, go through the Security Provider update process.
  • To resolve this issue, the app invokes ProviderInstaller.
    installIfNeeded(getApplicationContext()); 
    immediately before
    mServiceManager.sendAuthenticationRequest(…)
Will the Point SDK continue to run in the background and receive notifications even after the app is killed?

The Point SDK will continue to receive notifications while running in the background. To resurrect the SDK after an app is killed, you need to authenticate the SDK with the restartMode parameter to true.

If the app is stopped by the user with the “Force Stop” option via Application Management then the Point Service will not be restarted.

Does the Point SDK support tablets?

Yes, if the tablet has GPS functionality. A Wi-Fi or Cellular Internet connection is required for optimized use, authentication and rule downloads.

What is the minimum Android OS version supported by the Point SDK?

The Android OS versions supported by the Point SDK are Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich (API 15) and above.

Canvas (Web Interface)

How do I use the map interface? Do I need to be technical?

We use Google Maps as our map interface. Google Maps is integrated into our back-end system and has been selected because it provides the broadest and most precise international satellite coverage and because most people have used it before.

We’ve focused on creating an intuitive user interface. You don’t need to be technically experienced to use our system.

We’ve added a number of geofence drawing tools in the top left of the map that enables you to easily drag and drop circular and rectangular geofences, or draw virtually any shape (polygonal geofences) on the map. Your end-user’s mobile device will react when entering these areas.

Once you’ve defined a location, you simply click the arrow on the top right of the screen to expand the menu. This allows you to set and manage actions and conditions associated with that particular location.

You may like to refer to the following material for more information on how to best use the Google Maps-based interface:
https://support.google.com/maps/?hl=en
https://developers.google.com/places/documentation/
https://developers.google.com/maps/documentation/business/

What package name format should be used when creating a new app?

The package name field is a unique identifier for an app. We suggest using the name for the app you intend to use when publishing to the App Store. This field can only be set once upon creation of the app and cannot be edited later. The format requires at least 3 periods, for example, com.bluedot.campusapp.

What is a Zone?

A Zone contains one or more Geofences and/or Geoline™ technologies that all comprise a single location and relate to a particular set of Actions and Conditions. Upon triggering a Zone:

  • A Check-in notification is sent to the backend.
  • The configured Actions relevant to that Zone are executed.
  • The Zone is disabled for the Minimum Retrigger Time (MRT) that has been set.
What is a Geofence?

A Geofence is a virtual perimeter for a real-world geographic area. It can be either an encapsulated two-dimensional geographical area (Geofence) or a series of connected lines (Geoline™).
Geofences can be defined as any of the following shapes:

  • Circle – One geographic coordinate representing the center of a circle, plus the radius in meters.
  • Rectangle – Two distinct geographic coordinates representing the north-east and south-west corners of a rectangle.
  • Polygon – Three or more geographic coordinates representing the vertices of an enclosed polygonal shape.
What is a Geoline™?

A thin, virtual tripwire spanning two or more geographical points – AKA a straight line.

What is an Entry (Check-in)?

An Entry (check-in) occurs when a device enters a Zone, satisfies any Conditions configured for that Zone and triggers one or more Actions. The following occurs when a Zone is triggered:

  • A Check-in notification is sent to the backend.
  • The configured Actions relevant to that Zone are executed.
  • The Zone is disabled for the Minimum Retrigger Time (MRT) that has been set.
What is an Exit (Check-out)?

The Point SDK can optionally report when a device leaves a Zones it has already triggered. The exit feature allows your app to be notified, in real-time, when a device exits or ‘checks out’ of a Zone that it has previously entered. This is known as ‘checking out’.

For geofences, check-out occurs when the SDK confidently determines the device is outside of a previously entered geofence. The exact distance of travel is dependent on environmental conditions and the opportunity for battery conservation.

Geoline™ Technology and Checkout
A Geoline™ cannot be utilized for checking out as it has no area.

What is an Action?

 The following pre-set Actions can be utilized to trigger when a device triggers an Entry (check-in):

  • Message – send a local notification on the device.
  • URL – open a web page in the default browser on a device.
  • Vibrate – cause a device to vibrate.
  • Sound – play the default tone of a device.
  • Custom – deliver a callback to the mobile app to allow any Custom Actions to be executed on the device.

An Action is executed when a given Zone responds to a device that triggers (enters / checks into) a Geofence or Geoline™.

What is Minimum Retrigger Time (MRT)? How does it affect the Actions created for a Zones?

Minimum Retrigger Time (MRT) is the amount of time that needs to pass before the Zone allows the same Action or Actions to be triggered again on a device. If Checkout is not enabled for a Zone, the MRT starts counting down immediately after a user checks into the Zone. For example, if you enter 10:00 (i.e. ten hours) as the MRT for a Zone, then the relevant Actions will only retrigger when the user checks into the same Zone after 10 hours have passed.

If Exit is enabled, the MRT activates only after a device has checked out of the Geofence it checked into. During the time period that MRT applies, the Zone is effectively disabled and no other Action that has been configured for the Zone will trigger. We recommend setting the MRT to as high a value as possible to avoid spamming the device and to save battery power.

Are there limitations on the number of Zones, Geofences or Actions that can be created for an app?

No. There are no limitations on the number of Zones, Geofences or Actions that can be created.

Why can’t I trigger anything when entering Zones I’ve created for an app, even after successful authentication?

You must have at least one Action within a Zone. Any Zones without a declared Action will not be added to the data collection which is pushed to the device after successful authentication.

Public APIs

Can I integrate my software with the Canvas API?

Yes, the Bluedot Public API’s allow you to interact with the back-end by exposing a range of UI functionality as RESTful JSON web services. Given the Public APIs are entirely based on JSON, a broad range of clients and integrations can be built in relation to these services. Data added through the Public APIs can be edited via the Web Interface – Bluedot Canvas and vice versa.

See developer docs for more information.

Can I extract usage data from the Canvas API to a third-party service?

Yes, the Bluedot Public API’s expose JSON end points for programmatic extraction of usage data. You can also extract usage data using the activity log related to each location or ‘Zone’ that you have defined for your app. Supported formats include CSV, PDF, and Excel.

Are there source code examples of the Public API available?

Yes, we have detailed documentation of the Public API available here. We include code samples within our documentation for every command in Java.Net C# and Node.js. We also provide the source code on GitHub.

Can I create a Geofence within my app using the Public API?

Yes, you can create Geofences and Geoline™ technology from within your app utilizing your Customer Id, Bluedot App Id and Zone Id. Sample code for the Public API is available here in different languages.

GDPR

What is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation is the regulatory framework by which the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission intend to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union (EU). A list of all of the data (personal and otherwise) that Bluedot collects and how it is processed can be viewed by clients and end-users in Bluedot’s Privacy Policy.

However, our customers, the ‘Data Controllers’ under GDPR, are responsible for the data rights of their end-users (‘Data Subjects’) in the handling of their data.
What are the Data Subject's Rights?
Bluedot is committed to make available methods for our customers to address GDPR requirements.

Restrict Processing: Data Subjects (“subject” being the term for end users) can request the Data Controller to stop processing data. 

Data Portability: In certain cases, Data Subjects may request to the Data Controller to have their known data exported.   

Right to Erasure: Known as “the right to be forgotten,” this right empowers Data Subjects to request that a Data Controller delete or remove their personal data. 

Where can I find more information?

For any questions about GDPR as it relates to your business and Bluedot, please visit our Privacy Policy or email us

Pricing

How do I know which plan is right for my business?

A Bluedot team member is happy to walk you through the available plans to find one that works for you. Request a Demo

How do I pay?

We accept all major credit cards. You will be charged on a month-to-month basis. Please contact the Bluedot Sales Team to discuss enterprise plans that are invoiced.

I’m interested in using your tech in a client project. How would the pricing work?

We have custom pricing for partners that is designed to suit a range of projects and business models. Contact Us