iBeacon, Apple’s new framework for using low-cost Bluetooth LE devices to beam notifications to nearby smartphones and tablets, will soon be getting a bigger push from Apple and third-party manufacturers through its Made-For-iPhone program. While “iBeacon” is often used in the media to describe any Bluetooth beacon, Apple is now implementing tighter control over who can use the ‘iBeacon’ branding. Much like it requires for manufacturers placing the “Made-for-iPhone” branding on Apple authorized devices, Apple is now requiring manufacturers meet certain specifications before using ‘iBeacon’ on their products. The change was first spotted by Beekn.net. It appears the program is separate from the main Bluetooth MFi specification as it still asks that accessory manufacturers not support the iBeacon feature. Read more
When Touch ID was first rumored, there had been much speculation about whether the iPhone 5s would act as an electronic wallet, with payments to retailers authorized by fingerprint. While that hasn’t yet happened, it does now seem clear that it’s on the way.
Asked about mobile payments during yesterday’s earnings call, CEO Tim Cook gave what is, in Apple terms, a surprisingly direct response.
The mobile payments area in general is one we’ve been intrigued with. It was one of the thoughts behind Touch ID [...] it’s a big opportunity … Read more
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
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
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
We’ve already seen retailers and major venues like Macy’s, the Apple Store, MLB, and even CES implement iBeacon technology into their overall visiting experience, and today inMarket is kicking off its Mobile to Mortar campaign (via TechCrunch) to bring the Bluetooth LE beacons to over 200 grocery store locations and more. Read more