Today let’s take a look at what’s happening with one of the sleeper features of iOS 7: iBeacon! If you’ve managed to miss it so far, it’s Bluetooth microlocation broadcasters to supplement the accustomed location methods. No particularly big changes API-wise, a few new Core Location and Passbook methods, but it does have some rather interesting potential:
Forget about QR codes, NFC technology, kiosks, and tablets as the major game changers in retail; introducing iBeacon and Bluetooth Low Energy technology to our everyday retail experiences is like introducing the Flintstones to the Jetsons shopping mall…
For retailers desperate to turn smartphones from distractions into a sales tool, it provides a quick way to target ads and other messages to consumers as they walk through a store. For Apple, it’s a chance to collect valuable shopping data and to build a mobile-payment platform into a dominant retail standard. Apple declined to comment. “IBeacon’s momentum is just getting started,” says Hari Gottipati, an independent tech consultant in Phoenix, “but it’s going to explode faster than anyone can imagine.”
… iOS7 and iBeacon create an ecosystem-wide network effect overnight, with standard technology, offered in an open development environment. It’s very clear that Apple is starting to put the pieces together to allow consumers to make offline transactions with their device..
Major League Baseball is launching a major initiative to make attending games at stadiums a completely interactive experience for fans.
Taking advantage of Apple’s iBeacon indoor mapping, a new feature in iOS 7, the MLB plans to customize its At the Ballpark app for everyone that walks into any of its stadiums nationwide…
S**t just got real.
So where can you pick up some hardware to try this out? Here’s a few links to start:
Or, if you’ve got a spare recent-ish device sitting around, there’s the Estimote Virtual Beacon app to get started now.
Source code and tutorials:
WWDC 2013 Sample Code’s AirLocate “shows how to use CLLocationManager to monitor and range CLBeaconRegions.”
nicktoumpelis / HiBeacons “can be used to demonstrate both beacon advertising and ranging”
ohwutup / OWUProximityManager – “Detect and connect to nearby devices with iBeacons and CoreBluetooth.”
lgaches / BeaconEmitter: “Create an iBeacon with your MacBook.”
Open Beacon Credentials: “Introducing a shared iBeacon identifier scheme for common personal use cases.”