Thursday, September 25, 2014

NEW TECHNOLOGY - IBEACONS


What is iBeacons?

iBeacons is a brand name created by Apple for a specific technology. That technology allows mobile apps to recognise when an iPhone is near a small wireless sensor called a beacon (or iBeacons, as well). The beacon can transmit data to an iPhone – and visa versa – using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). iBeacon is a feature in iOS 7, thus Apple’s new iPhones will have iBeacon. iBeacons essentially makes way for new range of apps and functions. With it, stores can pipe coupons to your phone, mapping apps can offer indoor navigation and more.

Any iOS device that supports sharing data using Bluetooth low energy can beam signals to an iBeacon app. For example, an iPad can both emit and receive an iBeacon signal. But other than this Apple doesn't make the beacons itself - these come from third-party manufacturers – for example the Virgin Atlantic trial is using hardware from Estimote.
Whether you'll pick up a signal from a beacon will also vary: walls, doors, and other physical objects will shorten signal range 

BLE is a feature in iOS 7 and Android 4.3.



How does it work?

The beacons themselvers are small, cheap Bluetooth transmitters. Apps installed on your iPhone listen out for the signal transmitted by these beacons and respond accordingly when the phone comes into range.

For example, if you pass a beacon in a shop, the retailer's app (assuming you have it installed) could display a special offer alert for you. On a visit to a museum, the museum's app would provide information about the closest display, using your distance from beacons placed near exhibits to work out your position. As such iBeacon could be a much better option for in-door mapping - which GPS struggles with.



Why is iBeacon such a big deal?

The technology could be a big step towards mobile payments, something smartphone makers have been looking at for a long time without getting it right. Running the technology which breaks through and becomes the standard is going to be very lucrative. As such iBeacon is not the only game in town - PayPal is working on its own 'PayPal Beacon' technology - expected next year - which will allow shoppers to 'check-in' and pay for goods from the PayPal account on their phone. Near Field Communications (NFC) is another technology trying to find an niche (right now with limited to success) in mobile payments, plus plenty of others.

Depending on how iBeacon evolves and is adopted it could form an important part of Apple's ecommerce and mobile payments effort. For example, the combination of iBeacon and Passbook could allow you to get sent a coupon while in a store and buy something without ever seeing a member of staff. Equally, shoppers may find the whole thing slightly unnerving and ignore it altogether. 






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2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing, I feel that flower delivery information is very useful.

    ReplyDelete
  2. If together with SPIX 3d Technology, it would be perfect, don't you think??

    ReplyDelete