iBeacon Stories October 29

Beacon adoption has been all but abandoned by most retail chains, suggests a report today.

iBeacons and other beacons were once touted as a technology that would revolutionise retailing. They would help us find products in-store, provide easy access to detailed information on our iPhone when looking at a product display, and beam us discounts and offers to help us save money.

The reality, however, hasn’t lived up to the hype …

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iBeacon Stories August 17

The Next Web has an interesting piece talking about what Jeff Powers refers to as ‘Class 2 smarthomes.’

With today’s tech – Class 1 – we do have things liked timed automations, but a lot of the time we’re controlling things manually. Class 2 smarthomes would, he argues, be truly smart, and figure out a lot more things on their own.

Some of what he proposes would be pretty complex, but there’s one idea in there which Apple could fairly easily implement, and which would make HomeKit a lot friendlier for non-techies …

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Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

iBeacon Stories February 27, 2017

We’ve heard quite a lot about iBeacons over the years, but to date they don’t seem to have made much of an impact. We’ve seen adoption from a small number of high-profile brands, such as Condé Nast, DisneyHudson’s Bay Company and SXSW, but it’s rare to see much sign of iBeacon presence even in major shopping centers in large cities.

Which is odd, when you consider the evidence of their value. One trial, back in 2014, found that they boosted purchase intent by twenty times. Another found a similar increase in product interaction, and found that users were much more likely to keep a retailer app installed if they received iBeacon notifications through it.

But it’s of course a chicken-and-egg problem: retailers are reluctant to invest much in a technology few consumers even know exists, and consumers don’t know about iBeacon technology because hardly anyone’s using it. It’s a particular stretch for small businesses to invest.

There are, though, a few companies aiming to allow even the smallest business, or non-profit, to begin using the technology. We looked at the Beaconic system some 18 months ago, and I’ve been playing with Live Beacon, a system which may be more appealing for reasons I’ll get to shortly …

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iBeacon Stories May 10, 2016

Apple subsidiary FileMaker is today releasing FileMaker 15, introducing a number of notable additions for mobile device users as well as a host of other new features and enhancements for the platform.

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iBeacon Stories September 15, 2015

I’ve been interested in iBeacons — proximity-based wireless transmitters — ever since they were first announced by Apple alongside iOS 7 at WWDC in 2013. The idea of walking into a store, restaurant, or other public space and receiving (opt-in) wireless notifications based on proximity to a Bluetooth sensor struck me as a potentially compelling next step forward for both retailers and smartphone users. Even more exciting was the opportunity to receive incentives, such as coupons or free apps, just for being in proximity to the store. iBeacons have been added to Apple Stores, Macy’s, MLB baseball parks, and even bars, offering giveaways of free apps and magazines, as well as everything from locations of products to seating directions.

In a twist, iBeacons aren’t being sold directly by Apple. The name is being used across a variety of third-party products that meet an Apple specification, and sold by different companies throughout the world. When I heard that a European developer named Beaconic was dropping its prices on iBeacons to levels any small retailer could afford — around $107 for two “Power” beacons or $141 for four “Retail” beacons, each with an unlimited software license — I reached out to the company so I could see what the retailer and customer experience was like. Here’s what I learned…

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iBeacon Stories July 14, 2015

Google announces a Bluetooth beacon platform to compete with Apple’s iBeacons

Google today announced a new beacon technology called Eddystone along with APIs that together it hopes will make it easier for Android and iOS-powered devices and beacons in close proximity to communicate with one another. Unlike iBeacon, Apple’s take on the Bluetooth-based protocol, Eddystone is open source and designed to be easily extendable, compatible with any device which supports the use of beacons. A new API announced alongside Eddystone, compatible with iOS and Android devices and available to Android developers today (iOS support forthcoming), uses inaudible sound emitted from device speakers and heard from other devices using their microphones to determine when other smartphones and tablets are nearby so data can be transmitted between them.

To learn more, read the full post over at 9to5Google.

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