Apple Releases iBeacon Specs
Apple wants to have a tighter control over who can use the iBeacon brand. For those of you who are living in a cave outside Apple products, iBeacon is a new framework developed by the company to help use cheap Bluetooth LED devices to bean notifications to nearby iOS devices like smartphones and tablets.
The iBeacon has recently got a huge boost from the tech giant and its third party manufacturers through its exclusives, Made For IPhone Program, for many common customers, the name iBeacon is used to describe any such Bluetooth beacon rather than only iPhone’s but Apple is now demanding control over who can use the iBeacon branding very much like the MFI branding itself. According to recent reports, the Apple is making it mandatory for the manufacturers of the iBeacon to meet certain specifications before using the iBeacon in their products. It seems that the new set of regulations is apart from the main Bluetooth MFI as it still requires the manufacturers of accessories to not support the iBeacon feature.
This change now implies that manufacturers will have to apply through proper channels of MFI to seek permission to name their products iBeacon and have to undergo some regulations. However, there is a silver lining in this regard as the Apple Company hasn’t restricted the functionality of such iBeacon devices. Since competitors are developing their own brands of the iBeacon standards, this regulation can actually help users recognize such beacon products for their use with the iOS devices. Another positive point is that this doesn’t prevent the iBeacon from working with Android devices.
The concept of these beacon devices is relatively simple. It is an indoor positioning system based on Bluetooth low energy. Since many Android and other smartphone operating systems are now equipped with Bluetooth low energy, they can be compatible with the iBeacon. It is especially useful for retailers who can buy such a beacon and use it for proximity interactions. These retailers can send a push notification to smartphone users when they appear in the proximity of a particular product. It can also be used to detect the user identification about who is in the store by using the payment systems. The good thing about this technology is that it is only a precursor of what is about to come with devices broadcast and Bluetooth LED signal not far away in the horizon.