Apple releases iBeacon specification

Apple's iBeacons, an indoor positioning system that can detect nearby devices to optionally push promotional marketing messages, has been picking up considerable steam lately. For instance, such brands as Major League Baseball and Apple itself have implemented the system, as did various retailers, theme parks, grocery stores and even car accessory makers.

According to BEEKn.net, Apple has now released detailed specification for the iBeacon platform. Released through Apple's 'Made for iPhone' (MFi) initiative, the documents are apparently separate from Apple's main Bluetooth MFi specification..

Samsung’s iBeacon is called Flybell

2014 could be the year we see indoor positioning and micro-location services become pervasive in our lives. Thank that to iBeacon, an Apple-designed new class of low-powered, low-cost transmitters that can notify nearby iOS 7 devices of their presence.

iBeacon technology can also be used by the Android operating system and chip makers like Qualcomm have taken notice and started churning out low-cost transmitters.

At its core, iBeacon lets iOS devices (or other hardware) send push notifications to other iOS devices in close proximity. Needless to say, fast-follower Samsung does not seem keen on supporting iBeacon in its products and instead is pursuing an in-house built solution.

According to a new patent application published by The United States Trademark and Patent Office (USPTO), the Galaxy maker's iBeacon is called Flybell and is being described as a “wireless beacon and corresponding software”...

Philips taking on Apple’s iBeacon tech with smart lights

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...

iBeacons ready to go at MLB ballparks in Los Angeles and San Diego

Good news for Dodgers and Padre fans this afternoon. Major League Baseball announced today that it has finished outfitting its first two ballparks with iBeacon sensors, those in Los Angeles and San Diego, California.

The move comes just two weeks after it was reported that the MLB was looking to have iBeacons ready to go in over 20 ballparks by the Opening Day of 2014, and the organization confirms that rollout is still on track...

NFL deploys iBeacons in Times Square, MetLife Stadium for Super Bowl

Apple's iBeacon technology seems to be catching on rather quickly. Just introduced at WWDC a little over 6 months ago, it's already being deployed in grocery and retail stores, several Major League Baseball ballparks, and now apparently NFL stadiums as well.

The New York Times is reporting that the National Football League has installed iBeacons at MetLife Stadium, which is hosting the Super Bowl on Sunday, as well as Times Square. They'll be used to help folks find their way around town, and then to the big game...

MLB installing thousands of iBeacons in ballparks for next season

According to a new report, Major League Baseball will begin rolling out thousands of iBeacons in ballparks around the country next week. The organization is looking to outfit 20 parks with around 100 iBeacons each by Opening Day, in March.

If you've been keeping tabs on Apple's iBeacon project, this shouldn't come as much of a surprise. The MLB was one of the first names attached to the geolocation technology—it demonstrated the tech last fall, and promised a widespread rollout...

Dutch theme park tapping iBeacons to boost visitor engagement times

Apple's indoor positioning technology, iBeacons, is cropping up in some unlikely places. No, I don't mean grocery stores, trade shows, Apple Stores, stadiums and bars. According to a Dutch blog, one of the country's theme park will be deploying iBeacons in March to provide visitors with useful information right on their iOS devices.

It's also interesting that Apple's finance boss felt the urge to mention during yesterday's earnings call that the company is now using iBeacons in a number of its retail outlets to beam relevant product information and promotions as customers get near an iBeacon...

Automatic’s software update just turned your car into an iBeacon

Automatic's app-enabled smart driving assistant is genius. The $99.95 accessory connects to the mobile app to not only give you driving feedback and crash alerts, but also help diagnose check engine codes and lots more - because "small changes in your driving behavior can lead to huge savings over time".

And with the latest software update, every Automatic on the road has just became an iBeacon.

iBeacon, as you know, is Apple’s Bluetooth 4.0-based micro-positioning wireless standard. The new software opens the door to some pretty exciting possibilities, stuff like auto-payments for parking or gas fill-ups, for example...

Shopkick expands iBeacon testing to 100 American Eagle locations

Shopkick announced today that it is expanding its iBeacon trial to a number of American Eagle retail stores. The shopping app has been testing Apple's new geolocation tech in a handful of Macy's outlets since December of last year.

Once the pilot goes live next month, Shopkick's iBeacon tech will be available in 100 AE locations, making it the largest trial of the technology in the country. And it'll essentially turn your iPhone into a personal shopping assistant...

iBeacons arrive to 200 grocery stores, including Safeway and Giant Eagle

By all accounts, 2014 should be the year of iBeacons, a Bluetooth 4.0 powered indoor micro-location technology that Apple created and the industry readily embraced. I mean, the CES itself is running a promotional scavenger hunt utilizing iBeacons, how's that for an endorsement?

And chip maker and Apple supplier Qualcomm is rolling out its own inexpensive iBeacons platform called Gimbal, another vote of confidence to the cross-platform nature of Apple's technology.

And now, inMarket announced the roll-out of iBeacons to about two hundred grocery store locations, including Safeway and Giant Eagle locations in Seattle, San Francisco and Cleveland. What sets apart inMarket's implementation of iBeacons to others is the multi-retailer approach.

Although the system would only work with inMarket's own apps, the company plans to roll it out to brand partners and independent developers in the future, ensuring the consistent user experience across multiple retailers and coupon/reward apps...

CES Scavenger Hunt to utilize Apple’s new iBeacon tech

The Consumer Electronics Association has announced that next week's CES will feature a promotional scavenger hunt featuring Apple's new iBeacon technology. The group issued a press release last night explaining how it's utilizing the tech.

Attendees will use the CES Mobile apps to explore various areas of the conference, and collect badges for each iBeacon they encounter. And the first 3 to collect all of the badges will be rewarded with prizes such as tablets and other gadgets...

Qualcomm launches Gimbal, its own $5 iBeacons

iBeacons, an Apple indoor positioning system based on Low Energy Bluetooth 4.0 (BLE) wireless technology packed inside tiny transmitters, seems to be picking up steam as of recently. Although Apple never conceived iBeacons technology to be platform-dependent, current installations are limited to sending push notifications right to the Lock screen of nearby iPhone, iPod touch or iPad devices.

These alerts use a combination of physical location, activity, time and personal interests and typically include various marketing messages, such as store discounts, freebies and so forth.

Surprisingly enough, Apple's supplier Qualcomm has now entered the game with the Gimbal, its own iBeacons-compatible platform which promises to bring location sensing to a micro-location level at an affordable price...