Retailers w/ iBeacons have upper hand this holiday as shoppers embrace location-based offers

The latest stats from Swirl Networks, the company behind a number of beacon deployments at high-profile retailers, shows that shoppers in the US are embracing Bluetooth beacons and along with it Apple’s iBeacon framework for app developers sending location sensitive notifications to users. More specifically, data collected from the company’s beacon deployments in recent months shows that beacons are influencing the way we shop with more than half engaging with the feature and many redeeming beacon offers when making purchases.  Read more

Here’s why beacon networks are the way to go for retailers & app developers supporting iBeacon

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If you’re a retailer, you have two options when it comes to deploying Bluetooth beacons. You can deploy the hardware yourself and build an accompanying mobile app for the experience, or you can open the experience to existing apps that users already have on their device using a beacon network. Some retailers have decided they want to own the experience and have everything go through their own mobile app, but new data suggests that might not be the way to go. Read more

Apple launches new service allowing local businesses to get listed on Apple Maps, solicits indoor mapping partners

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Apple has launched a new web service called Maps Connect that allows small business owners to manage their listings on Apple Maps along with a tool for setting up indoor positioning in select areas. Companies can enter their own listings and verify via a phone call or email address.

The iBeacon-powered indoor mapping tool allows businesses to setup interior views of their businesses on Apple Maps to help guide users through their venues. This tool is currently limited only to locations that meet specific criteria, such as Wi-Fi throughout the building and at least 1 million visitors per year.

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Estimote introduces iBeacon power management tools for extending battery life

Estimote iBeacon beacon screen grab

Estimote, the company behind the iBeacons I tested in my Launch Center Pro 2.3 coverage and used by easyJet in select European airports, is introducing a round of improvements to its beacon product line and corresponding software today. The primary focus of the improvements deals with power management and how Estimote’s iBeacons consume battery. In short, Estimote’s iBeacons are getting smarter about how they connect and stay powered by adding two beacon power modes including Basic and Smart…

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Launch Center Pro 2.3 for iOS adds IFTTT, geolocation, and iBeacon support

Contrast today is releasing a major update to Launch Center Pro for iPhone and iPad adding support for If This Then That and location-based actions. The update includes support for sharing GIF images from within the app using Giphy search integration (fun, right?) as well as support for scanning barcodes and QR codes from Launch Center Pro.

While there’s certainly a lot of potential with connecting web services to native apps using LCP and the IFTTT automation service, the location-based actions using geofencing and iBeacons unlock some really cool use cases for me personally… Read more

Walgreens & Walmart testing iBeacons, Motorola Solutions launches iBeacon marketing platform

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Walgreens-owned drugstore chain Duane Reade announced today that it’s updating its iPhone app with support for iBeacons it recently installed in 10 of its New York city locations. It and Walmart are just two of the latest big name chains said to be testing the technology, while Motorola Solutions announced today its own indoor location platform that includes a combination of Bluetooth iBeacons and Wi-Fi based features.

Like other implementations that we’ve seen in retail and grocery stores, Duane Reade has installed the Bluetooth iBeacons in order to beam offers, coupons and product info to customers in proximity that have the company’s iPhone app installed: Read more

MFi sunglasses w/ embedded iBeacon notify you when lost, act as beacons in retail

The first set of eye glasses with embedded iBeacon Bluetooth LE technology and certified under Apple’s Made-for-iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi) program are coming soon. We’ve seen a growing number of companies embracing iBeacons by using the protocol: personalized retail experiences, in-store advertising, audience interaction at events, as well as apps that let you setup your own iBeacons at home and work. Now, a company called Tzukuri is about to launch a crowd funding project for the new eye glasses that use an embedded iBeacon to track lost glasses with accuracy to the nearest foot. They also use solar power, so charging is never an issue, and the company has big plans for using the product as a standalone iBeacon when on store shelves. Read more

inMarket lets specific brands, not just retailers, target shoppers using iBeacons in-store

inMarket, an in-store marketing platform that recently started rolling out iBeacons to retailers, today announced an interesting new twist for the platform: the first consumer packaged goods brand to take advantage of iBeacons in a retail environment. That means that rather than the retailer controlling the entire iBeacon experience and the location-based notifications that get beamed to shoppers, inMarket’s Mobile to Mortar (M2M) platform is giving that same opportunity to the individual brands on the store’s shelves. We’ve also learned it’s about to expand and continue its rollout of iBeacons in retail locations across New York, Boston, and Miami.   Read more

United Nations uses iBeacons to simulate a minefield & raise awareness at NY museum

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We’ve been seeing more and more interesting implementations of iBeacons, Apple’s Bluetooth LE standard that opens up a ton of opportunities for location-based experiences as iOS devices communicate with the beacons around them. This, however, might be the most unique use of iBeacons we’ve seen yet:  For the UN’s International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action taking place on April 4, New Museum in New York City will host an exhibit that uses iBeacons to simulate a virtual minefield and let anyone experience the danger of land mines.

Visitors will download an app called Sweeper for iOS or Android that will allow them to experience the fear of land mines as they walk through the space. Here’s how it works: Read more

SXSW Festival using iBeacons for interactive sessions, speedy badge pickup through iOS app

SXSW-appOn top of the many uses for iBeacons we’ve seen in retail environments, event organizers are another group that have started taking advantage of Apple’s new Bluetooth tech recently. The MLB is deploying them in stadiums to send notifications to baseball fans, CES hosted an iBeacon scavenger hunt this year, and today we’ve found out the upcoming SXSW festival where Apple is hosting its latest iTunes Festival will also be using the technology.

Eventbase, the company that has been building the official SXSW festival app for a few years now reached out to let us know it will be deploying some iBeacons around the event this year to improve the experience. Specifically, it will be using the technology to “help attendees in Austin pick up their badge faster and get more involved in the sessions they attend.” One feature in the app will allow for real-time audience interaction during sessions: Read more

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

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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