Understanding how Connecthings’ SDK works

Apart from detecting zones around a device, the role of the SDK is mainly two-fold:

  • When a device enters a zone’s action range, and the application is in the foreground, the SDK notifies the application and enables it to generate a specific in-app action
  • When a device enters the area of a zone, and the application is closed or running in the background, the SDK notifies the application and enables it to display a notification

This document focuses on the former, and explains how and when our mobile SDK enables an app to generate an in-app action.

Overview of in-app actions

  • In-app Actions are actions/messages triggered on a user's phone when the application is active in the foreground
  • An in-app action can take many forms: text, url, image, webview... It's hope to you to choose the best UI to display the content of an in-appaction to your user.
  • If several zones are available to trigger an in-app action, the Herrow SDK chooses the closest.
  • If your application has decided not to trigger an in-app action for this closest zone, the Herrow SDK suggests the second closest available, and so on.

In-app Action management model

The Herow data model for zone in-app actions

Our Herow platform provides the following data model to work with zone in-app actions:

  • In-app Action: contains a tag field to configure the action/message displayed on a phone when a zone is detected, when the application is in the foreground.

Note 1:

The tag field is manageable in the mobile SDK through the HerowPlaceInAppAction object. This object creates the link between the zone and the associated in-app action content on the Herow platform.

Note 2:

This model is flexible - it may evolve in the future and incorporate new fields.

The In-app Action Listener/Delegate

The In-app Action Listener/Delegate notifies the application when:

  • A zone is detected and meets the conditions to trigger an in-app action
  • An in-app action can be removed/deleted

Summary

To sum up, our SDK allows you to trigger in-app actions in foreground applications.

Our SDK works with ‘HerowPlaceInAppAction’ object, which create the link between the physical zone and the information saved on the Herow platform, and which you can manipulate in your code to launch in-app actions.

While it is very easy to technically configure zones and the information that will be displayed to end users, what you must define prior to anything else is the overall customer experience and vision/model of interactions that you want to implement.

Among your entire fleet of zones, you need to determine the type(s) of actions that you want to implement, and on which zone (s) they apply. This implies preliminary reflection on questions such as:

  • What are your criteria to assign a specific action to a specific zone ? E.g. type of zone location
  • How to manage possible zone range overlaps?