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Tuesday December 6th 2016
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iBeacon- The game changer in InStore Navigation

iBeacon – Apple Inc has come up with another game changer technology

Instore Navigation is a technology that many retailers as well as customers really like to have. The instore navigation was approached until recently through hanged-on books on the entry door, posters and kiosks by most of the retailers. Then came blue tooth technology in mobiles. Retailers tried to attack the problem with this technology but fast to learn that it is pain and there are technological limitations in pairing the devices. There were other technologies using WiFi and triangularisation tried out. This was also not effective.

Then google introduced NFC. There were many solutions using NFC. But NFC in android phones was primarily created for payments. So those solutions also did not become so popular.

iBeaconNow as always Apple Inc is bringing in the game changer, iBeacon.
GPS will tell you how to get to the nearest Apple store. With iBeacon, Apple hopes to guide you around once you’re inside, whether it’s to pick up an order, upgrade to a new iPhone or shop for a pair of headphones.

On Friday, Apple Inc. began using the technology at its 254 U.S. stores to send you messages about products, events and other information — tailored to where you are inside, provided you have downloaded the Apple Store app and have given it permission to send notices based on your location. You must have Bluetooth turned on and have the latest operating system, iOS 7.

For Retailers

The implications of iBeacon go beyond Apple stores. One day, commuters might get information on subway delays as they stand on the platform.

Retailers will be also able to offer deals or track which aisles shoppers linger in the longest. Can also give instore specialties, events and news for the day for that particular store

Using the iBeacon feature, the app will notify you if the computer you ordered is ready for pickup, for example. Show a clerk your screen with the order number, and the clerk will get it for you. Walking by an iPhone table? You may get a message asking if you want to upgrade, check your upgrade availability and see if you can get money for trading in your old phone.

For Entertainment and League Games

Major League Baseball already plans to use iBeacon next year to customize fans’ experiences at its ballparks, through the At The Ballpark app. In a demo earlier this year, MLB officials showed how the app can offer special features based on users’ location in a stadium, such as coupons in the souvenir shop or a video that plays near landmarks.

Museum visitors might get details on the painting they are standing in front of.

Privacy Concerns on iBeacon

Location tracking does raise privacy worries. After all, shoppers may not want their every move watched and recorded inside a store. Apple, however, said that it does not collect information about shoppers inside its stores. The company said notices are triggered when the app senses a location beacon nearby, without Apple’s beacon needing to even know you’re there.

For Developers

The iPhone 4S was the first commercial product to ship with Bluetooth 4.0. At the time, the technology got some attention from industry observers who speculated about its potential – especially around a new technology called Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Since it was released devices such as FitBit, UP and the Peddle SmartWatch have helped to demonstrate some of the possibilities of the technology.

Originally a Nokia research project, BLE was first introduced by the Finnish firm in 2007 as  Wibree. BLE was released as part of Bluetooth 4.0 under the brand name of Bluetooth Smart. BLE is designed to be an ultra-low power network that can operate on a coin cell battery for up to three years.

Because BLE operates in the 2.4GHz spectrum, it is license free around the world. As for security, it comes fully loaded with AES128 encryption featuring a robust connection that has cyclical redundancy checks and adaptive frequency hopping. BLE is therefore very power efficient, secure and cheaper to implement because of its range

With iOS 7, Apple is extending the possibilities of BLE with iBeacons. Infact Apple has include BLE in iOS6 and from iPhone 4S devices onwards. In iOS7 it is more perfected.

You can find examples and help for developing apps using iBeacon at

http://maniacdev.com/2013/10/example-an-app-using-the-new-ios-7-ibeacon-api

http://www.captechconsulting.com/blog/christopher-mann/ios-7-tutorial-series-core-location-beacons

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