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Old Dec 4, 2013, 08:23 AM   #1
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iBeacon Technology Tapped to Unlock Location-Specific Newsstand Content on iOS Devices




Exact Editions, a London based digital publishing startup, has begun implementing Apple's iBeacon microlocation receivers to deliver location-based access to iOS Newsstand publications, reports TechCrunch. The iBeacon receivers are used as a part of the company's "ByPlace" service, which can trigger location specific publications and other content once an iPhone or iPad is nearby.

In the first implementation of the program, patrons of Bar Kick in Shoreditch, UK can access soccer magazine "When Saturday Comes" and style magazine "Dazed & Confused" free of charge while at the bar, with the apps reverting to regular subscription status once out of range of Bar Kick's iBeacons.

A deployable iBeacon receiver
Quote:
Exact Editions expects that selling subscriptions attached to iBeacon delivery will be particularly attractive to a magazine with a niche audience, and one that will be particularly associated with corresponding venues. The principal advantages for the venues are as follows:

1. Suitable content can be selected (eg film magazines for a cinema wifi zone, fashion magazines for an arty venue, finance or business magazines for a location in the City or in an airline lounge etc.)
2. The venue can choose its content to suit its audience, and the iBeacon will generate statistics which indicate which magazines are most used and when.
3. There will be discreet but noticeable in-app branding for the venue, through the use of 'courtesy panes' within the app, stating the sponsorship eg "When Saturday Comes brought to you by courtesy of Bar Kick".
4. As the venues get statistics on the usage of the apps that they host, and as they get in-app credit for the use of those apps, they will be able to measure to an extent the degree to which freely magazine apps generate repeat business. The customer who really enjoys his app and walks out with the app synced to his iPhone has a reason to buy a subscription in iTunes, but he also has a reason to return to the bar where he got some free access.
First introduced at WWDC, iBeacon microlocation APIs are designed to access location data through the Bluetooth Low Energy profile on iOS devices, interacting with physical transmitters. The technology first appeared earlier this year, when Major League Baseball announced plans to begin incorporating Apple's iBeacon APIs into its MLB.com At the Ballpark app to create interactive experiences within stadiums in the near future.

Apple is also said to be incorporating iBeacon technology into its own Apple Store app and retail stores, providing customers with enhanced location-based product information and in-store services. Recently, shopping app Shopkick and Macy's teamed up for the first retail-based iBeacons, allowing customers to find location-specific deals, discounts, and recommendations in the Shopkick app while in a participating Macy's store.

Article Link: iBeacon Technology Tapped to Unlock Location-Specific Newsstand Content on iOS Devices
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Old Dec 4, 2013, 08:26 AM   #2
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Hello,

don't know if its illegal to do this here, but I wrote an article regarding iBeacon and looking at t from a brands / agency perspective:

http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/...e-retail-space

Just in case someone wants some more details.
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Old Dec 4, 2013, 08:28 AM   #3
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Bluetooth LE seems like a bit of a waste of time to me, what's wrong with battery-less, licence-free, standards-based RFID? Active RFID tags exist in addition to passive, whereas BT LE requires active tags which will need their battery replacing sooner or later.

About the only downside to RFID is it tends to be shorter range, but active tags increase the range significantly.
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Old Dec 4, 2013, 08:38 AM   #4
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I usually have BT switched off. And WiFi too for that matter. In fact I run my phone on airplane mode often when I know I'm unlikely to take or receive a call.

Am I paranoid about having so may radios blasting next to the Crown Jewels?
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Old Dec 4, 2013, 08:43 AM   #5
Elijahg
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Originally Posted by Santabean2000 View Post
Am I paranoid about having so may radios blasting next to the Crown Jewels?
Yes you are. The output power of (wifi and Bluetooth especially) is extremely low, and when it's in your pocket it's barely doing any transmitting/receiving. Plus your thigh is an excellent attenuator for radio signals at that frequency, so they mostly wouldn't reach your "crown jewels" anyway.
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Old Dec 4, 2013, 08:45 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Elijahg View Post
Bluetooth LE seems like a bit of a waste of time to me, what's wrong with battery-less, licence-free, standards-based RFID? Active RFID tags exist in addition to passive, whereas BT LE requires active tags which will need their battery replacing sooner or later.

About the only downside to RFID is it tends to be shorter range, but active tags increase the range significantly.
Batteries for iBeacons will last on average 2 years with iBeacons costing as low as $99.

Your worried about replacing batteries but are ok with implementing active RFID that use batteries also?

I think iBeacon is going to be much cheaper for retailers to implement then RFID. RFID you will need tags for each product you sell driving the price up. iBeacon you only need enough to cover the square footage of the store.

As a side benefit iBeacon can be used for indoor mapping between retail stores such as malls.
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Old Dec 4, 2013, 08:58 AM   #7
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would be nice if they published the spec like they 'hoped to do this week' during the WWDC session. It's a nice, very simple, technology, do what you said you were going to do (or be beaten when android publishes their free spec which I guess would be called .. i-Robot)
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Old Dec 4, 2013, 09:00 AM   #8
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Could someone kindly break down what exactly iBeacon is and does?
I know it's for the majority of people, but since it keeps coming up I'd like to have an idea of what it is and potential uses for it.
Thanks

-----
I meant to say I know it's not for the majority of people, whoops

Last edited by afro-ninja; Dec 4, 2013 at 11:41 AM.
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Old Dec 4, 2013, 09:05 AM   #9
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That company above makes the worst possible example of iBeacon. You can have completely powerless iBeacons. The one above though is designed for a bunch of systems not just Apple's iBeacon. iBeacon isn't even really bluetooth it was just named that to put it under the familiar bluetooth name. It's completely different and similar to RFID but better. It can be 100% passive with no energy needed for iBeacon tags.
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Old Dec 4, 2013, 09:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elijahg View Post
About the only downside to RFID is it tends to be shorter range, but active tags increase the range significantly.
Only downside?

That's a pretty freaking big downside. How much range do these tags give? The point of iBeacon is that it can provide services in places like department stores.


Quote:
Originally Posted by afro-ninja View Post
Could someone kindly break down what exactly iBeacon is and does?
I know it's for the majority of people, but since it keeps coming up I'd like to have an idea of what it is and potential uses for it.
Thanks
The easiest example I can give:

You know all that stuff Google can do outside? iBeacon will allow that inside.

So, like, you can ask Google where the best pizza is and it will tell you what streets to take. In the future you'll be able to ask your phone where the shoes you want are located in a mall is and your phone will be able to tell you what steps to take, (even the steps within the shoe store, once you arrive) even though GPS is totally blocked where you are.

There are dozens of other things iBeacon will be able to do (this article is an example of another), but that's the most bare-bones way of thinking about it, I think.
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Old Dec 4, 2013, 09:21 AM   #11
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I am just in the market for this kind of tech. I turn off most notifications on my phone because 99% of them are spam or distractions.

It's cool tech but I can only see it being abused and just another thing that will have to be managed by the end user.
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Old Dec 4, 2013, 09:25 AM   #12
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This seems alot like technology that was used at Disney with the Micky Mouse dolls that could talk and tell the kids about attractions they are near.
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Old Dec 4, 2013, 09:30 AM   #13
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"transmitter" much?
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Old Dec 4, 2013, 09:32 AM   #14
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Who sells the iBeacon? Apple? How affordable is this program for the "little guys" out there? Sure, I can see "big companies" implementing this, the "Starbucks" of the world, but can the little guys implement this program cost effectively?
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Old Dec 4, 2013, 09:38 AM   #15
Elijahg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxcooldude View Post
Batteries for iBeacons will last on average 2 years with iBeacons costing as low as $99.

Your worried about replacing batteries but are ok with implementing active RFID that use batteries also?

I think iBeacon is going to be much cheaper for retailers to implement then RFID. RFID you will need tags for each product you sell driving the price up. iBeacon you only need enough to cover the square footage of the store.
"as low as $99"?!? That's crazy expensive. Passive RFID tags are 0.15 each, active are $25. (source)

Quote:
Originally Posted by inkhead View Post
That company above makes the worst possible example of iBeacon. You can have completely powerless iBeacons. The one above though is designed for a bunch of systems not just Apple's iBeacon. iBeacon isn't even really bluetooth it was just named that to put it under the familiar bluetooth name. It's completely different and similar to RFID but better. It can be 100% passive with no energy needed for iBeacon tags.
Really? I've not been able to find "powerless" iBeacons. Source?

iBeacon is Bluetooth, Bluetooth LE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Small White Car View Post
Only downside?

That's a pretty freaking big downside. How much range do these tags give? The point of iBeacon is that it can provide services in places like department stores.
You seem to have misread. I said active tags (i.e. battery powered, like iBeacon) can have much bigger ranges. 500 meters, infact. Way more than iBeacon's 50 meters.
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Old Dec 4, 2013, 09:51 AM   #16
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I'm curious how this would work with graphics heavy magazines. Once in range I'm guessing that iBeacon would allow you to download the magazine (which could take awhile for some with a lot of photos and possible slow wifi), but what happens when you leave the location? Will the magazine be deleted, and you'd have to re-download it if you came back tomorrow? Or would it be stored in a "locked" state until you returned or deleted it?
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Old Dec 4, 2013, 10:02 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxcooldude View Post
Batteries for iBeacons will last on average 2 years with iBeacons costing as low as $99.
The actual hardware itself is insanely cheap - less than $10 or so per unit.
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Old Dec 4, 2013, 10:09 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elijahg View Post
"as low as $99"?!? That's crazy expensive. Passive RFID tags are 0.15 each, active are $25.
The cost of passive tags start to get expensive as you would need one for every product sold which would be a reoccurring yearly expense. At 15 cents a piece a store with 5,000 items would cost an additional expense of $750.00. Then additional tags are then needed as you restock the store.

$99.00 is a much cheaper alternative. With active tags is more a possibility. Depending if and how easy its to replace the batteries and how much it will cost.

You do have an added feature with passive tags might be able to use it as a payment system.

Another major thing that you need to think about. With RFID, only phones with NFC will be able to utilize these RFID tags. If you are using RFID in a situation simular to iBeacon, you will not be able to use iPhone/iPads to read them.

By using iBeacon it would be possible for any device with LE Bluetooth to use it. Android phone have support for this, maybe not all but in the future.

As a retailer you want to get to as many customers as possible. On average iPhone/iPad users tend to spend more money then Android users, at least according to statistics.
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Last edited by linuxcooldude; Dec 4, 2013 at 10:55 AM.
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Old Dec 4, 2013, 10:42 AM   #19
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Just what we don't need: Smartphone spam...

"Siri, turn off Bluetooth."

While it would be nice to have a separate toggle for iBeacons, I'll take what I can get.
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Old Dec 4, 2013, 10:55 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afro-ninja View Post
Could someone kindly break down what exactly iBeacon is and does?
I know it's for the majority of people, but since it keeps coming up I'd like to have an idea of what it is and potential uses for it.
Thanks

Apple iBeacons 101

Before iBeacons

  1. You decide to go shopping at Macys
  2. You walk up to a store window or aisle that contains a sign with a QR code or web address
  3. You use your phone to scan the QR code or enter the web address
  4. The sign doesn't know you are doing this, who you are, or that you are even there.
  5. The store can use cameras, lasers, sound waves or traffic treads to detect people but they don't identify individuals


With Apple iBeacons (Basic Operation -- no Opt in to anything)

  1. You decide you want to shop at Macys
    • you download the Macys app from the App store
    • You startup the app -- it begins listening for Macys iBeacons
    • You set the app to notify you when a Macys iBeacon is detected
    • Your iPhone, times out, the Macys app goes into the background, and is eventually terminated
    • The "listen for Macys iBeacons" request has been pushed down to the BT radio
  2. You walk up to a store window or aisle that contains a Macys iBeacon
  3. The BT radio on your iPhone recognizes that you are near a Macys iBeacon that you are listening for. Based on your preferences, the iPhone can:
    • do nothing
    • notify you
    • open the Macys app at the relevant page for the specific Macys iBeacon detected.
  4. The iBeacon doesn't know you are doing this, who you are, or that you are even there.
  5. The store can use cameras, lasers, sound waves or traffic treads to detect people but they don't identify individuals


With Apple's implementation of iBeacons, you have to opt-in to allow the App to broadcast any location data or any information about your iPhone, any data about you, or your friends (contacts, etc).

http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/160...0#post_2438382

Last edited by dicklacara; Dec 4, 2013 at 11:01 AM.
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Old Dec 4, 2013, 10:59 AM   #21
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Just to be clear, that sticknfind pictured does not actually send iBeacon formatted packets. You need to use their SDK in your application to "hear" these devices.
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Old Dec 4, 2013, 11:47 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Small White Car View Post
The easiest example I can give:

You know all that stuff Google can do outside? iBeacon will allow that inside.

So, like, you can ask Google where the best pizza is and it will tell you what streets to take. In the future you'll be able to ask your phone where the shoes you want are located in a mall is and your phone will be able to tell you what steps to take, (even the steps within the shoe store, once you arrive) even though GPS is totally blocked where you are.

There are dozens of other things iBeacon will be able to do (this article is an example of another), but that's the most bare-bones way of thinking about it, I think.
Awesome. That's just the explanation I wanted, thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by dicklacara View Post
Apple iBeacons 101

Before iBeacons

  1. You decide to go shopping at Macys
  2. You walk up to a store window or aisle that contains a sign with a QR code or web address
  3. You use your phone to scan the QR code or enter the web address
  4. The sign doesn't know you are doing this, who you are, or that you are even there.
  5. The store can use cameras, lasers, sound waves or traffic treads to detect people but they don't identify individuals


With Apple iBeacons (Basic Operation -- no Opt in to anything)

  1. You decide you want to shop at Macys
    • you download the Macys app from the App store
    • You startup the app -- it begins listening for Macys iBeacons
    • You set the app to notify you when a Macys iBeacon is detected
    • Your iPhone, times out, the Macys app goes into the background, and is eventually terminated
    • The "listen for Macys iBeacons" request has been pushed down to the BT radio
  2. You walk up to a store window or aisle that contains a Macys iBeacon
  3. The BT radio on your iPhone recognizes that you are near a Macys iBeacon that you are listening for. Based on your preferences, the iPhone can:
    • do nothing
    • notify you
    • open the Macys app at the relevant page for the specific Macys iBeacon detected.
  4. The iBeacon doesn't know you are doing this, who you are, or that you are even there.
  5. The store can use cameras, lasers, sound waves or traffic treads to detect people but they don't identify individuals


With Apple's implementation of iBeacons, you have to opt-in to allow the App to broadcast any location data or any information about your iPhone, any data about you, or your friends (contacts, etc).

http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/160...0#post_2438382
Interesting, thanks for the more detailed run-through.
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Old Dec 4, 2013, 12:09 PM   #23
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Iunno why people are comparing tech with two different uses.

RFID is suited for single tracking of items so vehicle or parcels or items on sorting and production lines.

iBeacon is designed to be much more flexible allowing you to not pinpoint just a specific item but map out an area knowing your position relative to what is in the vecinity and giving you information. So say you have some around the ceiling of a mall, when you near a restaurant the iBeacon sees your position and asks if you would like to see a menu on your phone. Same for a cinema asks if you want to see showing times.

When in a store they have tags in each corner and and then they can tell when you enter a section and show you offers

There is sure much more they will do in time
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Old Dec 4, 2013, 12:23 PM   #24
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Quote:
RFID is suited for single tracking of items so vehicle or parcels or items on sorting and production lines.
Was wondering this too. RFID primarily is intended to track individual items and can it be converted for use in what iBeacon intends to do.
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Old Dec 4, 2013, 12:29 PM   #25
Elijahg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevaborn View Post
Iunno why people are comparing tech with two different uses.

RFID is suited for single tracking of items so vehicle or parcels or items on sorting and production lines.
Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxcooldude View Post
Was wondering this too. RFID primarily is intended to track individual items and can it be converted for use in what iBeacon intends to do.
RFID can be used in an identical way to iBeacon. At a hardware level, both devices just transmit a unique number (though RFID tags can store data, not sure if iBeacon tags can). With active RFID tags, the range is up to 500 meters. iBeacon is essentially a duplicate of active tag RFID, but with proprietary Appleness added.
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