Apple's iBeacon Gains 'Made For iPhone' Specification

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    [​IMG]


    Apple has implemented a new iBeacon specification and has begun certifying Bluetooth LE devices that utilize its iBeacon API under its Made For iPhone (MFi) program, according to a new report from Beekn.

    iBeacons are physical Bluetooth low-energy transmitters that use Apple's iBeacon API to provide micro-location information to nearby apps and devices, with an accuracy range of a few feet. iBeacons are compatible with Apple's iPhones and iPads, as well as other devices that use Bluetooth LE, and have thus far been used primarily by retailers and other venues to provide location-specific information.

    [​IMG]
    An Estimote Bluetooth LE Beacon

    In order to use the iBeacon name, manufacturers now need to have their devices approved by Apple as part of the MFi program, similar to accessories and hardware for iOS devices. Using the term iBeacon requires manufacturers to meet specific criteria, which are only available after a non-disclosure agreement has been signed.

    The new specification gives Apple more control over the iBeacon trademark, which has previously been used by several different manufacturers for various Bluetooth LE devices since iBeacons were introduced in June of 2013. It is no longer possible to use the iBeacon brand without consent from Apple.
    Since being introduced last year, iBeacons have been used by multiple retailers and venues in order to enhance visitor experiences in retail outlets, sports arenas, and other locations. Apple has rolled out iBeacons to its own stores as well, providing location-based product information to customers.

    Article Link: Apple's iBeacon Gains 'Made For iPhone' Specification
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    AngerDanger

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    #2
    Fantastic! I thought I'd lost my oddly geometric hat, but as you can plainly see, it's right there hanging on the flattened tree!

    [​IMG]
     
  3. macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Samsung Sbeacon in 3...2...1
     
  4. macrumors G3

    NT1440

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  5. macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #5
    Still a crap idea in my opinion. I doubt I'll ever use it.
     
  6. macrumors G3

    NT1440

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    It's going to be great for places like museums. I hate the fact that it's going to largely used for marketing, but when other knowledge based applications come into play it'll be great.

    Imagine cities and towns (like Boston) having their own tours with historical information available to you on the fly, museums that replace the antiquated audio tours with informative and dynamic interactive information right on your phone or tablet.

    There are many useful applications of iBeacon, lets just hope that it doesn't get drowned out by unimaginative ad agencies.
     
  7. macrumors 68020

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    #7
    if the iBeacon transmitters are cheap enough, I can see a lot of use for this for all platforms.

    Even in home use.

    Walk into bedroom, My phone could automagically fire up plex and connect its controls to my bedroom TV

    Walk into the kitchen and my phone could automagically start streaming directly to my kitchen stereo.

    hop into my car, phone automatically becomes unlocked, turns on bluetooth and turns off Wifi

    keep one in pocket. Phone keeps unlocked while within a few feet radius of me.

    the concept behind iBeacon can have a lot of use.


    and yeah, for museums and the like its a great idea too.
    Back in 1999 I went to Alcatraz and took a guided walking tour with headsets. The headset was on a timed playback. you had to keep up with it. Or pause. you had to go in specific order to get the tour in correct order. You had to stay in one location long enough for the record to continue on to the next place cause you coldn't skip.

    With iBeacon, They can tell you the exact exhibit you're standing in front of and beam the information / audio what not directly to your phone that way (or your phone goes and retrieves the correct tour info for that location)
     
  8. macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #8
    But you'd need an iPhone or iPad to use it right? If so... somehow I don't see it taking off massively since it leaves out the many Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry users out there.
     
  9. macrumors 6502

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    #9
    The manufacturers can easily license iBeacons, as the transmitter producers do. I hope Apple won't charge fees for its licensing.
     
  10. macrumors 68020

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    #10
    Technically I believe any device that has the Bluetooth 4.0 Lower Power standard can use iBeacon.
     
  11. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #11
    Museums often provide interpretative devices to patrons during their visits, and I'd expect even more to do so with iBeacon. It sounds like ideal tech for museums.
     
  12. macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Made for iPhone == paid 10x the amount unnecessarily for identical hardware.
     
  13. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #13
    This article doesn't say, but Apple introduced BluetoothLE (aka, Bluetooth Smart) in the iPhone 4s and the iPad third gen.
     
  14. macrumors G3

    NT1440

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    #14
    There is nothing in the iBeacon spec that makes it exclusive to iOS devices. All it requires is a bluetooth 4.0 compatible device and an app developed using apples guidelines for pairing and transferring of information. iBeacons are merely a trigger mechanism, the app does all the work, as long as the device knows what trigger to look for it'll work.

    That isn't to say there will be mass adoption amongst Android phones, but there is nothing stopping them from doing it other than simply writing the app.

    All that is required is the device maker support Apple's bluetooth mechanics. Naturally, that probably won't happen but not because Apple is withholding it.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    BlackBerry? Seriously? And developers are hesitant to currently develop for the iPhone because all those Windows Phone users as evidenced by app sales?

    This has got to be humor or sarcasm.
     
  16. macrumors member

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    #16
    No. I'm sorry that you thought your hat was my prismatic pet turtle named Jambox. Don't worry. It happens all the time and I have to constantly chase after fashionistas who unwittingly put my turtle on their head and saunter away.
     
  17. macrumors 68000

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    #17
    This is going to be a disaster

    Everyone will be annoyed at I beacons

    The phone and device doesn't know that it already sent u an alert thus sending u multiple alerts.

    ----------

    Get a sonos

    And that tour is done on your own pace

    No need for ibeacons
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    SockRolid

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    #18
    Judging by how poorly Google Wallet did (with NFC in case nobody remembers), I'd expect Samsung to join the iBeacon bandwagon real soon. Along with whatever other surviving Android manufacturers there still are. (HTC? Are they still around?)
     
  19. macrumors 68020

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    #19
    last time I wore my turtle as a hat, it pooped on me.

    ----------

    NFC's and wallet is a mixed reason why it's not doing well.

    Big problem is target audience. They're focusing really heavily on the USA with google wallet (it's not available in most markets outside, especially not in Canada).

    NFC itself hasn't taken off at all in the states. Partially due to your financial institutiions being about 10 years behind everyone else and an extremely large skew towards Apple phones compared to the rest of the world.

    When something fails because you set it up to fail, it makes you wonder why they did that.

    if they had released Google wallet in Canada for example, you'd have seen a huge difference in adoption. NFC style payment is already quite common here with Credit cards. NFC style terminals are in virtually every vendor (since anyone who accepts credit card here generally has a terminal capable of NFC, chip and Pin and Swipe&Sign.
     
  20. macrumors 601

    dannyyankou

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    #20
    Yep, pretty much all of this. It's a new technology with lots of potential, and people are dismissing it without even looking at it's possible uses. It's going to be huge IMO.
     
  21. macrumors G3

    NT1440

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    #21
    Uh, how do you get annoyed by something you have to opt into to use? If you don't have the app that corresponds to a given iBeacon there is NOTHING that happens on your phone.

    :rolleyes:
     
  22. macrumors 601

    dannyyankou

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    #22
    You won't have to because you'll get an alert that says "allow this app to use iBeacon?". Tap no and it will never bother you again.
     
  23. macrumors 603

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    #23
    Dead end

    iPhones having just 17% share of smart phone market worldwide, any company that wants to deploy iBeacon-like technology will look for Android customers first. It would be better for everyone if there was a standard for this (and obviously there will be one). How will "Made for iPhone" thing fit into this picture? Will companies have to deploy separate beacons for iPhone and everything else? Companies may start with "Made for iPhone", then deploy both iPhone and standard-based solutions but in the end there will be only a standard solution and all Apple fans will be begging Apple to switch to it (like they did with USB 3 and on many other occasions).
     
  24. macrumors 68020

    carjakester

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    #24
    very cool, looking forward to see what can be done with this.
     
  25. macrumors 68030

    sulpfiction

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    #25
    Not correct.

    Any device can recieve alerts from any iBeacon as long as they use Bluetooh LE.
     

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