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.
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“This is one of the coolest proximity-aware apps we have worked on,” said Marc Wallace, CEO and cofounder of Radius Networks. “This is also one of the first, tangible applications that leverages iBeacon technology. And it is a great example of how iBeacon technology is not just about advertising as it is about bringing new and innovative solutions to the marketplace. We are very excited to be a part of it.”
Announced alongside iOS 7, iBeacons is new technology introduced by Apple that uses low-power Bluetooth 4.0 devices as indoor positioning systems to provide users with location-aware notifications and services on their mobile devices. As we first reported, Apple has already started implementing the new iBeacons technology in its retail stores to deliver in-store notifications, promotions, and more as users walk by certain displays. Prizes for the CES scavenger hunt include one $900 “tablet computer”, a $150 fitness tracker, and a CES press bag worth $100. Contest rules are here.
This year many other retailers and companies are expected to adopt various use cases for the iBeacons technology from payments to contextual notifications as Apple makes the standard available to all developers in iOS 7. Retailer Macy’s already has plans for iBeacons, while Qualcomm announced its own Bluetooth beacon project that would be a competitor to Apple’s iBeacons.
We’ll be in Las Vegas for full CES coverage next week and plan to check out the iBeacon scavenger hunt first hand.