Recently, I’ve been working with IOS 7 and using XCode working on a side project and I bumped in to some new ways of creating ‘beacons’ and I thought others might be interested in this. This has nothing to do with my app but I found beacons, iBeacons and Bluetooth Smart technology really interesting.
Beacon’s are becoming one of the key enablers of the new internet of things. One kind of beacon is a low energy Bluetooth transmitter or receiver. You can find more about Bluetooth Low Energy at the BLE technology site.
Apple. iOS 7 includes iBeacon – a Bluetooth-based protocol that offers a way for devices to communicate with each other. A nice overview article :
TechCrunch is covering Apple’s iBeacon. Clearly this is Apple’s current answer and entry into building Beacon-based technologies. Retailers and various establishments are using iBean technology and rolling out use-cases such as ones which provide offers and discounts as you approach stores and restaurants and within particular products.
These two videos explains what are Beacons (in Apple parlance – iBeacons) and why are they important in the Internet of Things. Part 1:
Part 2 :
Toshiba. At the SC Business Fair in Yokohama, Toshiba showed off low-energy Bluetooth-enabled beacons in signs. The signs allowed information connections between smart signs and a user’s cell phone.
Estimote. One of a number of companies that are productizing beacons is Esimote. An interview with Estimote’s CEO :
Estimote’s use-case advertisement :
You can see an example of what people are doing with Estimote’s product from this video.
Starbuck’s Transaction Demo. Interesting demo showing a use case around ordering at Starbuck’s using Beacon technologies.
Finally – a nice wrap-up video going into a fair amount of detail.
For those of you interested in beacons and more specifically doing this with Android – Android is including BLE technologies but third parties are also providing tools. Here is a nice write-up on Beacon support in Android.