“It’s been a month since Apple unleashed iOS 7 onto the world, and while some of its flashier features have garnered a lot of attention, the most important part of iOS 7 is one you’ve probably never even heard of—even though, if you’ve upgraded, you already have it,” Sam Grobart reports for Businessweek.
“Search Google for ‘Apple iBeacon’ and you’ll get plenty of results, but none from Apple.com. Look for the term on Apple’s site and you’ll get one hit, a not-very-illuminating link to Apple’s list of trademarks. Don’t be fooled: iBeacon is important,” Grobart reports. “It’s software that enhances an iPhone’s location services (or an iPad Mini’s, or that of any device running iOS 7), and may prove to be a pretty big deal when it comes to the iPhone’s role in retail — something Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s new retail chief, will likely be thinking about as she settles in at Cupertino.”
Grobart reports, “Prior to iBeacon, an iPhone relied on GPS and Wi-Fi tower triangulation to know where it was. Those are great technologies and continue to be a part of iOS. But they have their limits… iIBeacon is a third locating system, one that runs on something called Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). ‘It’s a game-changing technology,’ says tech blogger Steve Cheney, who has written extensively on the topic. With iBeacon, any iOS 7 device becomes a potential BLE beacon, and it’s already in place in every new and updated iPhone and iPad. For retailers to make their spaces iBeacon-friendly, they’ll need dedicated beacons, like the $99 three-pack from Estimote… NFC requires an NFC chip, which not all devices have; most smartphones and tablets already come with Bluetooth… It also required the cooperation of credit-card companies, which added a layer of complexity to its implementation. ‘Bluetooth is so much better,’ says Cheney. ‘Not only is it already in every single iPhone dating back two years, Android can support this, too, when Google catches up in software.'”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple leads. The rest follow. As usual.
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