Apple’s revolutionary iBeacon: Sometimes the biggest changes in technology have the smallest beginnings

“Sometimes the biggest changes in technology have the smallest beginnings,”Alex Hern reports for The Guardian. “In the summer of 2013, Apple announced iBeacon, a nerdy-sounding feature of its new operating system that would ‘provide apps a whole new level of location awareness.'”

“It’s taken a few months to appear in the real world, but from CES to grocery stores – and, of course, Apple’s shops themselves – iBeacon now seems to be popping up everywhere,” Hern reports. “It’s a new technology developed by Apple, built into its operating systems and devices since 2013, and it may ‘change the world forever,’ according to The Washington Post.”

Hern reports, “While Apple’s iOS 7 has the required abilities to do this built into the operating system, any Android phone with Bluetooth and Android 4.3 or above can pick up the same signals, and it’s on the app developers to make the most of them.”

Read more in the full article here.


    1. So you want iBeacons to work on your phone without permission? The app is for a store or location you have an interest in. No way to do it without an app, it wouldn’t make sense.

      1. Darwin, there is a difference in user experience between Apple-developed, robust, easy-to-use default apps that come on one’s iPhone versus the need to fill folders with a different app for each store. If Apple can’t streamline iBeacon so that it works with ONE Passport-like beacon app for all stores, then this will fail.

        There just aren’t that many people who are willing to download an app every time they walk into a new store, let alone launch a new app every time they wander to a new store. Could you imagine the ridiculous overhead of using such a method in a mega-mall? Absurd.

  1. Why all the focus on retail ? iBeacons can be used for so much more. Imagine museums, art galleries, libraries, zoos, schools, universities and other such places with iBeacons everywhere. I’d love to walk up to a painting or an exhibit and automatically have the info about what I’m looking at squirted into my phone.

    I didn’t know android can use it as well but that makes iBeacons really compelling although I will not be installing any retail apps, I get enough ads annoying me as it is.

  2. As much as anything will be using iBeacons for efforts inside brick & mortar analogous to website conversion optimization. Smart retailers are already trying to improve traffic flow, sales motivations and checkout/transactions. iBeacons are like having Google Analytic, heat maps, etc for 3d physical space. If I owned a store I’d be all over this to learn what changes need to be made to convert those folks who have walked in the door into buying customers. iBeacons doesn’t have to about annoying ad promos. Smart retailers will use them to make the shopping experience at their stores more pleasant: easier to find stuff, more detailed product information and buyers guidance, better store layouts for getting around, gauging the right number of staff and registers to be working to properly serve customer traffic, etc, etc.

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