Dot is a Location Aware Bluetooth Beacon Used as a Digital Post-it, for Home Automation, and More (Crowdfunding)

Dot physical push notification is another Bluetooth beacon, but the company – Iota Labs – has designed and promote it in a location aware device that gets triggered when you move in a specific area with your smartphone. For example, somebody can leave a dot with a message such as  “remember to take the trash out” in the kitchen, and once you walk pass you’ll receive a notification, or you can use a dot to automatically turn on the light if you enter a room at night.

Bluetooth_dotThe full technical specifications have not been made available but here’s what we know:

  • MCU – Nordic Semi nRF51822 (or similar) ARM SoC with Bluetooth radio
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.0 LE with a range up to around 45 meters
  • Misc – RGB LED
  • Battery – Replaceable battery good for 6 months to one year

Android and iOS apps will allow your to configure your dots.


It will also be hackable with a JavaScript API provided. Kunal Chaudhary, Dot project leader, explains further:

For advanced hackers we will likely leave the programming headers exposed, as well as 3-4 GPIO pins.  Hopefully at least one of the pins will be PWM capable and one will be Analog input capable in order to read a sensor.  We are hoping to have a glue-less case design so the internals can be easily accessed by hackers and for battery replacement.
As for the javascript API, we basically set it up so that a user can write up a script, upload it through our website, and then get it running on their phone within seconds. They write their script in a skeleton file that they download from us, and they basically fill it in with whatever functionality they desire. This JavaScript file runs in a headless UI browser on the actual app, executing the code and returning us a string of commands, from which we control the Dot. We built the API so that you can do very simple requests, or handle all the stuff under the hood like polling rate, distance, etc.
IFTTT might also be supported. All use cases are location dependent, for example the Dot can launch a GPS navigation app when you enter you car, work as digital post-it notes as explained above, control the lights/heating/aircon when you enter or leave a room, send notifications relevant to your location (e.g. tweets related to the sports event you’re watching on TV),  be used as a reminder device with the LED changing color whether you have brushed your teeth or not, and so on.

I find dot to be of limited use for my personal case, since I’m not the kind of person to carry my smartphone with me everywhere and all the time, nor I check it each time I have a notification, but if you and your phone are one at all time,s then it might be useful. There could be some other use cases I have not thought of too.

The project launched on Kickstarter yesterday, and has already surpassed its $20,000 funding target. You’ll need to pledge $20 for a dot, and they have discount for various quantities up to 10 dots for $170. Shipping adds $2 to the US, and $5 to the rest of the world, with shipping planned for March 2017.

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3 Replies to “Dot is a Location Aware Bluetooth Beacon Used as a Digital Post-it, for Home Automation, and More (Crowdfunding)”

  1. @Passante
    It saves paper, so it saves trees. Planet saved! 🙂
    But yeah, I’m not convinced this would improve my life’s “productivity” even if I carried my phone with me. Maybe some people will find truly useful applications for it. That’s why I posted about it.

  2. Hey Passante, The digital post-it note is just one use case. The overall goal of this product isn’t to necessarily digitize everything, but rather to make computers more contextually aware.We basically want to give the current digital world more organization by grounded it physically.

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