Coming Soon To Everywhere Near You [News]

With new technology developing every day, it’s hard not to get lost as new developments come out. iBeacon is something you’re going to want to pay attention to though. On an episode of “Shark Tank,” Mark Cuban remarked how the sensor business is the future of technology and I couldn’t agree more. When you’re in a sensor driven world, information is collected with little to no user input. Simply enabling a feature on a device will bring you into this world. Sound like a world you’d like to be a part of? If so, read on to discover what the sensor business will deliver for you in the not so distant future.

iBeaconRadius

iBeacon is new Apple technology that extends location services on equipped devices running iOS 7. Think of iBeacon as GPS location on steroids. If you’ve ever tried to pinpoint your location while inside a building, you probably noticed its not quite exact. This is due to signal strength or reception being low or inaccurate. iBeacon will pinpoint your location within a few feet using Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) radios. Your iOS 7 devices will alert applications when you approach or leave locations.

So how could you use iBeacon? While out shopping you can enter some of your favorite stores to see if they’re offering any deals on products you might be interested in purchasing. Heading to a baseball game? Some MLB parks are starting to test new iBeacon services to improve your overall experience. On your first visit to that ballpark with iBeacon enabled, you could score a $2 coupon off a hot dog purchase. If you have e-tickets, iBeacon could help you find the best way to get to your seats based on your iBeacon location. The sky is really the limit here and developers are aware of it. There is huge potential behind this idea Apple has been developing since 2010.

MLBiBeacon

Here’s something to think about too. Apple has been putting iBeacon capabilities in their iOS devices since the iPhone 4S, iPad 3rd gen, iPad mini, and the iPod touch 5th gen. These devices now have the ability to be a iBeacon transmitter or receiver when configured properly. Apple stores can use those iOS devices on display to interact with you as you near them in their stores. But that’s not all. Some businesses have been using iPads to display product information to their customers. Businesses will be able to use iBeacon capabilities once they decide how they want it to interact with their customers. What a great business tool to have in your arsenal to be on the cutting edge of technology without having to buy additional hardware. The elephant in the iWorld is; will it catch on?

Does anybody remember QR Codes? I’m certain you know what I’m talking about since at one point in your smartphone life you probably downloaded QR reader apps. This was going to be communication for the future… Well, it was for a bit, but it didn’t spread like wildfire like many had thought. Sure, its a great idea, but it requires a lot of human interaction to drive the information. Simple, yes, but we humans are pretty lazy creatures, I’m proud to admit it from time to time. If something requires me to go through too many steps, I’m probably going to disregard using it. I believe others felt the same way. In a world of pure convenience, how convenient is it to have to pull out your phone, open the app, scan the code, visit the QR Code information page, try and save it somehow to use the information? Remember, we’re talking about convenience. That’s what iBeacon offers you. Conveniently, you’ll be sent information that you will be able to quickly use by simply enabling the information to find you.

iBeaconScreenshot

If you would like to start enjoying iBeacon, you need iOS 7 or later, Bluetooth turned on, and a compatible iOS device:

  • iPhone 4s or later
  • iPad (3rd generation) or later
  • iPad mini or later
  • iPod touch (5th generation) or later

You must download an application that will drive the information to your iOS device. For example, if you have the Apple Store app on your phone, you will be able to interact with iBeacon if it’s being used in the Apple Store you’re visiting. You can control which apps and system services access Location Services data, including iBeacon: Tap Settings > Privacy > Location Services. If you allow third-party apps or websites to use your current location, you agree to their terms, privacy policies, and practices. You should review the terms, privacy policies, and practices of the apps and websites to understand how they use your location and other information. Information Apple collects will be treated in accordance with Apple’s Privacy Policy.

When you enable location services you are exposing yourself to all the iWorld has to offer you. It does come at a price though. You are agreeing to give up a bit of your privacy in exchange for information, services, discounts, etc. At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself is it worth it? I’ve always felt since I chose to embrace the smartphone capabilities and started using social media, without hiding behind privacy filters, I’ve pretty much given up quite a bit of privacy, so I might as well get something out of it. Needless to say, I will be enjoying what iBeacon has to offer me in the future. Besides, I love a good deal and if it will help deliver that, I say bring it on.

One thing has always amazed me since smartphones emerged such a short time ago. There’s always one more thing it improves or changes to make life just that much more enjoyable. Whether its a cool new game or an application that helps you share photos with friends and family, there’s always something being improved upon. Technology has always been fascinating to me. Most recently I’ve been impressed by technology advances. Developments surrounding iBeacon will be fascinating. Finally Mark Cuban and I can agree on something, I know its been tearing him apart.   

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About Author

Jeremy McGinty

Jeremy McGinty is an iOS expert and has written over 350 articles relating to Apple and their products over the past two years. Writing about iPhones, iPads, and anything relating to Apple is what Jeremy does in his free time and you’re going to love reading how he’s a normal guy just like you. Jeremy is the most approachable person you’ll ever meet and you should try it out for yourself, send him a message here!

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