Virgin Atlantic to Integrate iBeacon Technology Into London's Heathrow Airport

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 1, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Virgin Atlantic is reportedly gearing up to integrate Apple's iBeacon technology into London's Heathrow Airport, according to Re/code. The airliner will be using beacons sourced from startup Estimote, as the transmitters will be deployed near businesses and terminals to notify users of promotional deals and areas of interest.

    First introduced during Apple's 2013 Worldwide Developers Conference, iBeacons enable iOS devices to wirelessly communicate with physical beacons through Bluetooth, as the transmitters are able to deliver specific information to apps when a user is nearby.

    iBeacon technology has also been utilized in a number of unique ways since the end of 2013. Shopping app Shopkick and Macy's teamed up to integrate the technology into stores to aide consumers, while Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association have used iBeacons to provide enhanced in-stadium experiences. Apple has even implemented iBeacons into its own retail stores to provide customers with product information and deals, while a London-based cafe and the Consumer Electronics Show have also featured the technology.

    Article Link: Virgin Atlantic to Integrate iBeacon Technology Into London's Heathrow Airport
  2. macs4nw macrumors 601


    Pretty soon, thinking will be optional; all life's instructions will be 'spoon fed' to us, whether we like it or not….. :D
  3. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    ... so it's going to be a new way to show people advertising?

    Why would anyone want this?
  4. AppleP59 macrumors 6502

    Feb 24, 2014
    Just a new way to spam us with more crap. Great.
  5. The Phazer macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2007
    London, UK
    I wonder if there's a jailbreak tweak to disable iBeacon reception.
  6. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    But what about the mac mini update?

    Ok..ill leave now.
  7. Mildredop macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2013
    I've got to agree. Seems like an odd thing to want to be a part of. I can't believe iBeacon will be around for long (although I also said that about Apple's "i" naming, but it still drags on).
  8. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    You just demonstrate that like many people, you have not the slightest clue what iBeacons actually do.

    An iBeacon transmits an ID and two numbers. For example, if Virgin Atlantic does this, then their iBeacons would transmit an ID that says "this is a Virgin Atlantic iBeacon", one number that says "this is London Heathrow", and another number that says "this is the beacon at the left corner of the Virgin Atlantic customer support booth".

    In order for your iPhone to react to this, you need to install an application that _specifically_ watches out for Virgin Atlantic iBeacons. If you don't have such an app on your phone and actually run it, your iPhone will never detect that these beacons are there. If you don't want this, don't download the app, or don't run it.
  9. alexgowers macrumors 65816

    Jun 3, 2012
    Can I ask does that mean you need to download a standalone app or the passbook iOS tab. It doesn't really make much sense and I feel like most iOS users will totally pass on this as a concept.
  10. tentales macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2010
    It seems you just demonstrated that you're a geek.
    Hey great, it transmits IDs.. wow

    Naive to think that it wouldn't be primarily used for advertising.

    Now show us your RFID implant.
  11. Skika macrumors 68030

    Mar 11, 2009
    It also needs BT to be on to work, as far as i know.
  12. Lone Deranger macrumors 68000

    Lone Deranger

    Apr 23, 2006
    Tokyo, Japan
    That's what I thought too. If it is, they can stuff it.
  13. AndyUnderscoreR macrumors 6502


    Jul 11, 2008
    So it's something an advertiser can attach to a wall that gives location specific information?

    We have those already, they're called posters.
  14. gnasher729, May 1, 2014
    Last edited: May 1, 2014

    gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    It means you need to download and run a "Virgin Atlantic" app to get anything from these "Virgin Atlantic" beacons. They can of course put a link on their website where you book flights that links straight to the App Store. But you will not be overwhelmed by beacons all around you that try to stick information into your face. You get what you ask for and what you're interested in, nothing else.


    I always knew some people don't like big three syllable words and are frightened by them. I didn't realise people can be frightened by big two letter words like "ID", and then switch off their brain and stop reading. I think you'd love the movie "Idiocracy", but possibly for the wrong reasons. So basically what happened here is that you demonstrated that you can't follow a reasoned argument, and that you have to resort to ad hominem attacks against anything that challenges your twisted view of the world.


    It's different in two ways: It's invisible if you're not interested in the information. And unlike a poster, you can get more and interactive information. A poster can't display "your flight is an hour late" to you and "your flight is right on time" to someone else.

    But as far as privacy is concerned, it's just the same as a poster. A poster doesn't watch you. An iBeacon doesn't watch you.
  15. merrickdrfc macrumors 6502


    Jan 8, 2011
    Hopefully this means Virgin Atlantic will be updating their mobile app soon! It's still the same as it was in 2008! They've made it compatible with retina and the 4-inch display recently but haven't changed a thing!
  16. The Phazer macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2007
    London, UK
    I do understand actually, but thanks for the misplaced aggression when your reading comprehension was at fault.

    A user still might require the Virgin app for other purposes (such as checking into the flight with passbook) and wish to block iBeacon adverts being pushed at them.
  17. AndyUnderscoreR, May 1, 2014
    Last edited: May 1, 2014

    AndyUnderscoreR macrumors 6502


    Jul 11, 2008
    It's different in two more ways, a poster doesn't need the viewer to allow the advertiser to run closed source software on a device that holds all their personal information, and a poster works even if the viewer doesn't have a phone.

    Nobody wants personalised advertising, especially if it means installing an app to get it. Everything the iBeacon does can be done more cheaply and less intrusively with a QR code... advertisers thought they were great too, but in the real world nobody ever bothers to scan those after the initial novelty has worn off.
  18. the8thark macrumors 68040


    Apr 18, 2011
    The central computer does all our thinking then one day . . . it gains consciousness. That day we called "Judgement Day".
  19. shk718 macrumors 65816

    Jun 26, 2007
    This is broader than advertising. its location based information. go to a museum and get detailed information about the gallery you're viewing. Use it for an interactive guided tour. I'm sure there are many uses clever people will create for it beyond advertising. The BEST part of it is you can easily control what you see or don't. Once again Apple invents something, no one understands it at first, then it becomes so insanely popular every other tech company slavishly copies it. I'm sure Samsung and Google are with their own versions as we speak.
  20. Tiger8 macrumors 68020

    May 23, 2011
    $2 for a drink?

    I'll take that! Bring the iBeacon! :D
  21. The Phazer macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2007
    London, UK
    Why would Samsung and Google need to copy it from Apple when it was a common feature in Nokia phones a decade ago and is built into the Bluetooth spec?

    Or do you mean the "platform locking it down into uselessness" part?
  22. Boatboy24 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2011
    1 Infinite Loop
    An ad on my phone every time I walk by a place of business?

    There are some decent (not great, but decent) benefits of this whole iBeacon concept. But the downsides are so much more numerous.
  23. Southern Dad macrumors 68000

    Southern Dad

    May 23, 2010
    Shady Dale, Georgia
    I'd love to see this implemented by somewhere like Walt Disney World Resort. This could be a phenomenal tool for parents while in the parks. They have an app but it has its limitations.
  24. linuxcooldude, May 1, 2014
    Last edited: May 1, 2014

    linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

    Mar 1, 2010
    Disagree...iBeacons go way, way beyond retail businesses.

    iBeacons can be used for so many things: Indoor mapping, self guided tours, location assistance for visually impaired or blind people, finding lost car keys or objects by use of tags or finding car in parking lot, location based games like Monopoly. I would say iBeacons have much more positives that greatly exceed the negatives as it can be used for other things besides advertising. Its only limited by someones imagination.
    Chuckle...not unless you have an app for every business you walk by.
  25. tod macrumors regular

    Oct 3, 2009
    I love how marketers think we'll all be so excited about receiving full screen spam. Just because it's timely and contextual doesn't make it any less unwanted. Isn't anyone using iBeacons in a good way?

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