iBeacon is an absolutely enthralling technology devised by Apple that enables small beacon devices to connect with each other. These small beacon devices can send across messages to one another or can send in notifications to iOS7 based devices. This all new technology from Apple is set to revolutionize the location specific apps. iBeacon for developers is quite a delight. Let’s understand how or why it will be useful and delightful to the developers.
Introducing iBeacon Technology
Heard of Bluetooth low energy? It is also known to the world as Bluetooth 4.0 or Bluetooth smart. iBeacon runs on this technology. Devices that are able to communicate using BLE can be connected with iBeacon devices.
Benefits of iBeacon BLE Devices
There are various benefits of associating with iBeacon BLE devices:
- The smart devices can get the micro location sensitive information using this device.
- This device works in tracking locations in areas where your GPS and Wi-Fi fail to track you.
- These devices are capable of receiving information specific to movements made by the devices along with the actions that were currently taken on these devices.
- Devices based on Beacon technology can run on a single battery for two years.
The Actual Device for iBeacon
To work with iBeacon technology, you need an iOS compatible device. The good news is that you will be able to access this technology on Android devices too, but you will need to ensure that the Android devices are version 4.0 and higher to be made compatible with this technology.
The following devices are the iOS compatible devices that accept this technology
- iPhone 4s or later versions
- iPad 3rd generation or later versions
- iPad mini or later versions
- iPod touch 5th generation or later versions
Once you have a device, compatible with the iOS or Android 4.0 and higher, then you will need a Beacon device that will communicate with your compatible device. The transmitting beacon is something that will fulfill your need. Companies that are currently working on Beacon devices include Estimote.
Applications of iBeacon Technology
A perfect place to start your iBeacon technology would be the stores, the mom and pop kinds. Let’s look at why this application can consider using this technology
- Like online stores, they help you find the products with the price you are looking out for.
- You can sort and filter, offline, using this technology.
- This technology works best in telling you about coupons that you might have that will help you get the products in the price you want them for.
- Convenient payment systems using this technology. By convenient we mean, you may not need to get your wallets out and pay for the services or products you just acquired.
Limitations of the iBeacon Application
Prior to this, the benefits of this technology has been discussed and described in detail. Let’s now talk about the limitations of this technology.
There is a contact limitation that accompanies this technology. There are three things that affect the contact that the device likes to make with the consumer.
One the consumer needs to be in possession of a device that is BLE activated and can attract the iBeacon devices.
Every store has an app. The consumer visiting a particular store will need to download the app meant for that store, in case they want to avail the benefits of iBeacon. The third is to allow notifications for the particular store. In some cases this can become laborious, in case the visit to the store is one time. But, if the consumer is a regular visitor, he/she might think of going through all these tedious tasks.
The app again needs to be user friendly and capable of ease of use. In case the app is a struggle, getting the consumer to actually download and install them would be a major trouble. This is a sort of limitation to this application of iBeacon technology.
Currently Apple has created some Beacon devices that are ready to be rolled out. Also, it has given out its technology to some of the stores within US. If numbers are to be believed it is about 254 stores.
So, the technology has definitely gained some speed and access. It’s time to watch out and see how well this technology moves in the space of brick and mortar stores.
For developers it is a delight to work and create apps using this technology. It would give them space to brain storm. Some of the cool features that are coming up include easy pay through barcode scanning.
Speak to IndianAppDevelopers
IndianAppDevelopers have successfully developed challenging mobile applications which can connect with beacon or any other wearable devices. Feel Free to Contact us today to know more about beacon technology.