geo-origins and the seeed GPRS shield


What are Location-Based Triggers?

Location-Based Triggers (iBeacons, RFID, etc.) are all the rage these days. Article after article touts the use of iBeacons, and other LBTs, to activate devices and apps base on your current, granular location. Beacons, among other LBTs, are able to transmit small amounts of data to devices listening for triggers. A device or app listening for these triggers is able to show content based on the payload it recieves.

What are LBTs? (beacons, RFID, etc.)

Good News: LBTs are a great idea, and offer developers a ton of functionality the can use to create immersive, contextually relevant, user experiences.

Bad News: In my work with LBTs, it became immediately clear platforms like Android and iOS implement these features in a way that is inherently high-friction, largely tied to apps, and fraught with disjoint, lacklustre UX paradigms.


The GPRS Shield provides you a way to use the GSM cell phone network to receive data from a remote location. The shield allows you to achieve this via any of the three methods:

  • Short Message Service
  • Audio
  • GPRS Service

The GPRS Shield is compatible with all boards which have the same form factor (and pinout) as a standard Arduino Board. The GPRS Shield is configured and controlled via its UART using simple AT commands. Based on the SIM900 module from SIMCOM, the GPRS Shield is like a cell phone. Besides the communications features, the GPRS Shield has 12 GPIOs, 2 PWMs and an ADC.

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