Philips taking on Apple’s iBeacon tech with smart lights

Grocery cart

Philips has officially joined the onslaught of competitors looking to go head-to-head with Apple’s iBeacon geolocation technology. At a retailer in northern Germany, the company is testing out a lighting unit which includes a built-in beacon that can relay information to smartphones.

It works a lot like many of the iBeacon solutions we’ve seen thus far. When shoppers enter a store, opening a companion app on their smartphone reveals a map and their location, and from there, they can search for various product, get directions to them, and receive other information…

Here’s a better explanation of how it works (via Engadget):


Other iBeacon competitors include Qualcomm’s Gimbel beacons, and Datzing, a new iBeacon-like service for Android developed by ex-Vertu designer Frank Nuovo. But neither of these, or any of the other contenders, have seen anywhere near the adoption that Apple has been seeing.

Since it was first unveiled in June of last year, Apple’s iBeacon tech has been installed in a variety of outlets including grocery stores, and other retailers. It’s also being used by professional sports, rolling out in over 20 MLB parks and utilized by the NFL during this year’s Super Bowl.