Beaconic announces availability of first Retail iBeacon Kits for Europe

Beaconic-iBeacon-retail-kit

We’ve seen Apple’s new iBeacon technology in use at several retail stores and events here in North America— Apple Stores, Macy’s, CES, MLB— but adoption of the new Bluetooth low power technology has been slower overseas. Beaconic aims to change that with a new iBeacon Retail Kit that will make it easier for businesses in Europe to deploy the technology. The concept of iBeacons is simple: As you walk around retail stores or other locations, your iOS device will communicate with iBeacons in proximity and display notifications, promotions, payment options, or other info setup by whoever deployed the nearby beacons. Beaconic’s new Retail Kit will make it easier for small businesses to get setup and track usage, and its software is available in several languages: Read more

Bluetooth portable conference speakerphone smackdown: Philips WeCall vs. Logitech P710e

As we begin to rely on our mobile devices for more and more of our business needs, I found myself needing a “portable Polycom” which would allow me to make quality speakerphone calls from my Mac or iPhone. Sure, the built-in speaker and mic are top notch on Apple products for their size, but I’d often have a hard time hearing what was on the other end of the line. Even more importantly, people couldn’t understand what I was saying, especially as I moved around.

I’ve decided to take a look at two similar solutions:  Philips WeCall ($150) vs. Logitech P710e ($140) pictured above… Read more

CES 2014: Smart thermostat EverSense shows off ‘Aura’ iBeacons to intelligently adjust room temperature

Eversense-Aura-iBeacon

This week at CES 2014, Allure Energy, makers of a $400 smart thermostat Nest competitor called EverSense, showed off an upcoming add-on to its system that uses Apple’s new Bluetooth LE iBeacon technology. Dubbed “Aura,” the small iBeacons will become an extension to the smart EverSense thermostat by allowing iBeacons to detect iOS devices in proximity and adjust the temperature of a room accordingly. After an initial setup, you’ll be able to adjust the temperature from any room with an Aura iBeacon just by entering the room: Read more

CES 2014: iPhone/iPad Bluetooth accessories for the home & body dominate the show

While it’s been years since Apple made an appearance at CES in any official capacity, accessories that pair with its iOS devices have for several years dominated the show floor. This year was no different with most of the big trends–  fitness and health tracking wearables, Bluetooth controllers, and home automation products–  all designed and developed with the iPhone, iPad, and Mac in mind.  Below we’ve put together a roundup of the most interesting wearables, cases, controllers and more that we found for iOS devices.  Read more

Review: SteelSeries ‘Stratus’ Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod Bluetooth game controller

I previously reviewed the first two Apple authorized game controllers to hit the market under Apple’s new Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch program from Logitech and Moga. Both used Apple’s form-fitting design that docks an iPhone or iPod touch directly into the controller via a Lightning connector. However, Apple’s program also allows another breed of standalone controllers that connect over Bluetooth and therefore also work with iPad and Mac. Unveiled at CES, this week I’ve put one of the first Bluetooth, non-form-fitting designs to the test with the new Stratus wireless controller from SteelSeries. Read more

Signal announces first full-size MFi Bluetooth games controller

RP_One

iOS gamers are not going to be short of options when it comes to choosing a games controller for their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. After earlier dock-based controllers from Logitech and Moga, and Monday’s announcement by SteelSeries of the first Bluetooth controller, Signal has just announced the first full-size Bluetooth controller in the shape of the RP One …  Read more

CES 2014: First look at Resound Linx, the world’s first MFi Bluetooth LE hearing aid launching this quarter

Back in June we reported that Apple was getting ready to introduce new Bluetooth Low Energy hearing aid technology it developed to significantly improve the current crop of products on the market. Apple expected partners in its MFi program to introduce hearing aid and cochlear implant products using the technology this year, and last night we got a look at the first MFi hearing aid about to launch globally this quarter during the Bluetooth SIG event at CES 2014. GN’s Resound Linx is trickling out in select markets as we speak but a full global launch is about to happen sometime this quarter.

Not only is Resound Linx the world’s smallest hearing aid and the first Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod through Apple’s official program, the connection to an iPhone over the 2.4GHz frequency and Apple’s advancements in low powered Bluetooth tech for hearing aid products will also provide some other first of their kind features for the Linx. The hearing aid will essentially also function as a high-quality headset, allowing users to answer calls, listen to turn-by-turn directions, and much more on their iOS device. The most notable advancement, however, is the ability to fine tune the hearing aid experience through a dedicated iOS app: Read more

iPhone-controlled door lock market heating up as Openways announces Okidokeys

okidokeys

A company that makes smartphone-controlled door locks for hotels has announced its first home door lock system, going by the rather cringeworthy name Okidokeys.

Once fitted, you’ll be able to unlock your front door from your iPhone (or Android handset) via Bluetooth. The locks are also compatible with RFID chips, allowing you to open them with a keycard or wristband in case your phone battery goes flat. As you’d expect from a hi-tech lock, you can also manage access and accounts online …  Read more

SteelSeries announces the first MFi Bluetooth game controller for iPhone, iPad, & iPod touch

Today we get a look at the first Apple authorized Bluetooth game controller for iOS devices with the Stratus Wireless Controller announced today by SteelSeries.

We’ve already reviewed the first two Apple authorized game controllers to hit the market since it introduced its controller MFi program alongside iOS 7 earlier this year: Logitech’s PowerShell and Moga’s AcePower. Those two controllers used Apple’s form-fitting design, which lets an iOS device dock directly into a recess in the controller and connect via a built-in Lightning connector. The new controller from SteelSeries is the first standalone controller that connects to any iOS device over Bluetooth, which means it will also support iPads. It uses Apple’s extended layout, which gives you dual analog joysticks and an extra set of shoulder triggers on top of the d-pad, face buttons and single set of triggers on Apple’s standard layout.

Read more

CES 2014 to host iBeacon scavenger hunt w/ official mobile apps

Radius-Networks-iBeacons

Today, the Consumer Electronics Association announced that it will be using Apple’s new iBeacon technology to host a unique scavenger hunt of sorts at its International CES event scheduled for next week. Using the official CES mobile apps for iOS or Android, attendees will be able to collect badges for encountering the location-aware Bluetooth iBeacons placed throughout the CES showfloor. CEA is using a Bluetooth iBeacon development kit from  Radius Networks (pictured above) and Texas Instruments’ SensorTag technology. It hopes the scavenger hunt will encourage attendees to explore more areas of the show. Read more

Qualcomm gets in on Bluetooth beacon action with iBeacon competitor

Apple’s iBeacons aren’t the only Bluetooth LE beacons available, but they have so far been the default option for retailers thanks to the backing of such a well-known company. Qualcomm, which makes wireless chips for Apple among many others, may be aiming to change that with its launch of its own beacons from just $5 each.

Gimbal proximity beacons, available in two models, are accurate down to one foot and work indoors and outdoors [...]

Depending on volume, Series 10 beacons [for indoor use] are available for as little as $5 each and Series 20 beacons [weatherproof version] are available for as little as $10 each.

While the move represents competition for Apple, it’s good news for iOS users …  Read more

Apple rolling out iBeacons into Apple Stores, silent app update enables In-Store Notifications

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Via the Associated Press, Apple will begin using iBeacon technology across its 254 US retail stores starting today. The integration, first reported by 9to5Mac last month, will offer notifications about products, event and other information tailored to your current store. For example, walking to a display table about iPhones may automatically notify you about your upgrade availability and trade in options.

Apple demoed the technology to the Associated Press earlier in the week in New York City. Apple has setup over 20 iBeacon transmitters in its flagship 5th Avenue store. However, starting today, everyone can benefit from the update, as the Apple Store app has been updated silently from the server side. Customers in the US can sign up inside the app today …

Read more