Apple’s iBeacon turns location sensing inside out: ‘Where am I?’ becomes ‘Here I am!’

“Apple’s iBeacon location sensing technology, based on the Bluetooth radio in your iPhone, promises to personalize the world around you,” John Cox reports for Network World. “For users, this increasingly popular technology changes the question of ‘Where am I?’ into the announcement ‘Here I am!'”

“An iBeacon is a Bluetooth Low Energy radio that broadcasts a signal in a given area, say the doorway to a clothing or grocery store. Your iPhone – if it has Bluetooth 4.0, and the radio is turned on, and iOS notifications and location services are active – can detect that signal and query the beacon,” Cox reports. “The beacon uses radio signal strength to figure out the phone’s location and can share that with iOS. Your phone shows an invitation from the beacon to enable something like “in-store notifications,” which involves sharing your Bluetooth-determined location.”

“Apple itself uses iBeacon in its own retail stores [see photo, above]. Customers walk into the store past an iBeacon, receive a notification to enable “in-store notifications” and if they agree, are then digitally greeted with a dashboard for that store’s location. The NFL used iBeacons at its recent “Super Bowl Boulevard” festivities along Broadway in Times Square. Later this year 20 major league baseball stadiums will feature iBeacon deployments,” Cox reports. “But the same technology is capable of supporting more advanced services in the future, including mobile payments.”

Read more in the full article here.

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  1. iBeacon can do more

    Cars will be equipped with Bluetooth and parking stalls will have iBeacons on them.

    Have reservations at the resto? It will alert you where to sit down and give you the menu once you enter the establishment.

    Work establishments will be installing iBeacons. You’ll be greeted with a time in once you come in……

  2. Well… an iPhone itself can be an iBeacon. This would let the dry cleaners (take out food, etc…) know you are near the door and can have your clothes waiting for you..

    Can use multiple iBeacons to triangulate and provide 3D info much like GPS system for indoors…

    Lots of applications for this…

  3. What I can’t figure out is why people think other people give a sh*t where they are? This social media crap seems to give people a really inflated sense of their own importance.

    1. I wouldn’t mind having iBeacon-enabled locks on my home and autos that would unlock as I approached and locked when I left. There are all sorts of uses for this tech that has nothing to do egotism.

  4. If I understood how iBeacons work, you first download the App appropriate for the iBeacon ‘region’ (e.g. store) that you are interested in, then open the App and “agree” to send/receive from the relevant iBeacons. I think there may be need eventually for Apple to step in and create some method whether it be a single App that you add ‘regions’ to or another method to manage the various iBeacon Apps that any user may have on their iDevice. Since they are currently seperate Apps for each ‘region’ will that mean manually starting stopping those Apps when not anywhere near the relevant region or suffer some sort of memory or battery side effect? (e.g. too many apps ‘open’ in memory or shortened battery life)

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