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Apple Pay loyalty program may be coming in time for holidays

10/21, 3:49pm

Demand may have pushed up schedule

A loyalty program for Apple Pay may be ready to go in time for the holidays, says Bank Innovation. Some retail sources had previously suggested this was unlikely, in part because of doubt about the prospects of a large shift in customer behavior happening right before the holiday season. Real-world market demand may be pushing up the timetable for a loyalty offering, however.

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Apple MFi summit coming Nov. 12-14; Joswiak goes to Code/Mobile

09/11, 3:41pm

MFi gathering will brief companies on HomeKit, iBeacon, other tech

Apple will hold its annual Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad summit between November 12 and 14 this year in Shenzhen, China, according to an announcement. The event is intended to brief accessory and peripheral manufacturers. This year, Apple says that sessions will concentrate on HomeKit, iBeacon, AirPlay, and in-app purchases.

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HBC department stores Lord & Taylor, Hudson's Bay to use iBeacons

07/28, 6:28pm

Apple technology will be used by Swirl, Motorola Solutions to deploy in Canadian, US stores

HBC Department Store Group, which owns both the Lord & Taylor and Hudson's Bay department store chain, has announced it will be using indoor iBeacons leveraging Apple technology, manufactured by Motorola Solutions and powered by software from Swirl Networks across more than 130 of the corporation's stores in Canada and the US. The move follows in the footsteps of Macy's, which did a similar deployment of iBeacons last November in stores in New York City and San Francisco.

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Documents filed with the FCC reveal Apple-made iBeacon hardware

07/14, 6:30pm

Third-party companies previously made iBeacon devices, intent of device is unknown

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released documents on July 4 outlining a new device from Apple which point to a company-made iBeacon. The device was first spotted by router maker Securifi, which lists the new device seeking approval wireless certification from the FCC for the "Apple iBeacon." Previously, iBeacon hardware was only made by third-party manufacturers.

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MLB launches second iBeacon expansion, updates iOS apps

07/10, 4:16pm

All-Star Game gets interactive content

Major League Baseball is entering into a second phase of iBeacon deployments at stadiums. Beginning this is project for the 2014 All-Star Game, which is being hosted at Target Field in Minneapolis. People with a supporting iPhone and the latest version of At the Ballpark will get extra content, including interactive material, when visiting nine different exhibits in the stadium. iBeacons are already in use at 28 other ballparks, but mostly for check-ins and discounts.

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Apple updates iOS to 7.1.2, fixes problems with Mail security

06/30, 1:35pm

Deals with missing encryption for Mail attachments

(Updated with Apple TV news) Apple has released iOS 7.1.2 to the public via iTunes and over-the-air distribution. The update is only a maintenance release, solving several bugs. Most significantly, it solves a problem with iOS 7 failing to encrypt Mail attachments.

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NBA team uses iBeacons to push seat upgrades

03/21, 12:59pm

Low Bluetooth use may hurt practicallity of tech

The Golden State Warriors have become the first NBA team to deploy Apple's iBeacon technology at their stadium, the Oracle Arena, according to Bloomberg. At a recent game, some people who bought cheaper tickets received notifications on their phones, asking them if they wanted to pay extra to upgrade. Several dozen iBeacons have been installed by a company called Sonic Notify.

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iOS 7.1 allows iBeacons to communicate without apps being open

03/11, 4:20pm

May make iBeacons more practical

Yesterday's iOS 7.1 update also made changes to the way iBeacons work, reports say. Previously, an iPhone could only pick up notifications from an iBeacon if it had a supporting app open or running in the background; now those messages will appear even if the app has been completely closed (assuming the user has granted permission for push notifications). Alerts are also said to be more responsive, for instance reacting instantly on leaving an iBeacon's broadcast area by ceasing any notifications.

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Apple puts out official 'Made for iPhone' specifications for iBeacons

02/25, 5:20pm

Future products will require Apple's blessing

iBeacons must now be certified under Apple's Made for iPhone (MFI) program to use the iBeacon name, reports say. While a number of third-party outfits have begun deploying iBeacons, they haven't necessarily had to cooperate with Apple to make use of the name or the official API. The terms of certification aren't public, since manufacturers are being asked to sign non-disclosure agreements.

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MLB completes outfitting two stadiums with iBeacon technology

02/14, 1:06pm

Los Angeles, San Diego first non-test deployments

Major League Baseball has completed its first post-test iBeacon deployments at two stadiums, according to an announcement. 65 iBeacons have been put in place at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, and Petco Park, the home of the San Diego Padres. The league says that plans are underway to have over 20 parks outfitted by Opening Day; the main reason for the initial two stadiums is that the Padres are hosting the Dodgers on March 30th.

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MLB planning to deploy 'thousands' of iBeacons for opening day

01/31, 9:57am

NFL begins limited deployment at Super Bowl

Beginning next week, Major League Baseball will be deploying "thousands" of iBeacons to ballparks around the US, a source claims. The organization is reportedly aiming to have 20 stadiums equipped with roughly 100 iBeacons each by Opening Day, which is at the end of March. These include the parks for Boston, Milwaukee, San Diego, San Francisco, and the LA Dodgers.

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Automatic Link driving assistant gets iBeacon support

01/29, 9:49am

Could be used for mobile payments for gas, parking

Automatic's Link "smart driving assistant" has been issued a software update allowing it to operate as an iBeacon, reports say. The Link is normally just meant to help optimize a car's performance. With the update, though, the device should be able to both transmit and receive data from compatible devices within Bluetooth range, such as iPhones and iPads.

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Report: Coca-Cola looking into iBeacons at World Cup games

01/17, 10:53pm

Apple technology could deliver information, advertising during event

A advertising and marketing trade publication has reported that soft drink giant Coca-Cola is looking into Apple's iBeacon, a short-range Bluetooth-powered messaging technology, as part of its major sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup. The iBeacon is a small, Bluetooth Low Energy-powered device usually planted on a wall that detects smartphone proximity and, with permission, can broadcast a message or alert -- be it informational or advertising -- as a notification on the device.

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Beaconic prepares iBeacon Retail Kit for Europe

01/13, 11:05am

System aimed at small businesses

A company called Beaconic has announced the iBeacon Retail Kit, intended to make deploying Apple's iBeacon technology easier for retailers. The kit includes two or more Bluetooth 4.0 beacons and an online campaign manager. Each beacon has a two-year battery life, and a range up to 60 meters (197 feet). While iBeacon is designed for iPhones, Beaconic says it is also working on an Android app.

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EverSense smart thermostat adds Apple's iBeacon technology

01/10, 10:49pm

Competitor to Nest build Aura, iBeacon- and NFC-powered room monitors

Allure Energy, which makes a smart thermostat to compete against the better-known Nest, has used its presence at CES to show off a new add-on to its EverSense system that employs Apple's Bluetooth LE-powered iBeacon technology. The new product, Aura, lets users adjust room temperature by simply coming within range of the iBeacon, such as entering a given room, carrying an iOS device. The system will then adjust the temperature to a pre-determined range.

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Widespread iBeacon deployment at CES used for 'scavenger hunt'

01/02, 9:41pm

Initiative geared toward driving attendees to see more of the expo

The Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show will be hosting what is possibly the first iBeacon scavenger hunt, using official mobile apps for the exposition. Using the CES suite of apps for iOS or Android, show-goers will be able to collect virtual badges when the come in close proximity to one of the beacons on the show floor.

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Wells Fargo downgrades Apple on margin, market cap worries

01/02, 10:43am

Nevertheless expects strong holiday sales

Wells Fargo Securities has downgraded its rating for Apple stock from "Outperform" to "Market Perform," a new memo to investors reveals. The firm says that its earlier, more optimistic forecast was based on an expanding profit margin, driven mainly by the iPhone 5s. "While we still have conviction in the gross margin thesis (and the potential for iPad/iPhone unit upside), we believe this may be largely embedded into the valuation," the memo comments. Share prices are still forecast to sit within the $536-581 range.

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Briefly: UI Browser bug fixes, Appay biz now integrates iBeacon

12/23, 12:35pm

PFiddlesoft's UI Browser 2.4.1 fixes minor bugs

PFiddlesoft has announced the release of its updated UI Browser, which features minor bug fixes. UI Browser helps users explore, manipulate, and monitor the user interface of most OS X applications running on one's computer. Able to generate AppleScript statements to control any application using GUI Scripting, UI Browser can control applications that are not otherwise scriptable.

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Qualcomm Gimbal Bluetooth beacons to compete with Apple's iBeacon

12/10, 9:17am

Bluetooth LE continues retail push

Less than a week after Apple began deploying its iBeacon technology inside US retail stores, Qualcomm has launched its own alternative. Known as Gimbal, Qualcomm's proximity beacons also take advantage of low-power Bluetooth LE to help retailers optimize their smartphone-enhanced shopping experience as customers move throughout a store.

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US Apple Stores begin deploying iBeacons for visitors

12/06, 9:34am

Tech already supported in Apple Store iPhone app

Apple is today deploying iBeacons at all 254 of its US retail stores, according to the Associated Press. At the Fifth Avenue store in New York City alone, the company has 20 iBeacons; some of these are reportedly just iPhones and iPads, but, like regular iBeacons, can communicate with a visitor's iPhone as they walk around the store. To receive notifications a person needs to have Bluetooth enabled, and the latest version of the Apple Store iPhone app, which must be allowed access to location data and push notifications.

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Macy's, Shopkick to deploy first retail use of iBeacons

11/20, 2:33pm

Will trigger alerts based on locations within a store

Macy's and Shopkick have announced plans to deploy the first retail use of iBeacons, an Apple technology supported through iOS 7. Within a few weeks at Macy's stores in Herald Square, New York and Union Square, San Francisco, users of the Shopkick app will occasionally receive alerts while visiting different departments. On first entering a store, for instance, the app may suggest a variety of deals and recommendations, but narrow down those alerts after wandering into the Shoes department.

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Apple Stores to get LED holiday decorations, iBeacons for displays

11/18, 1:35pm

iBeacon tech will allow for virtual 'signs'

Apple is working on two display initiatives for its retail stores, sources say. The first is the addition of special holiday decorations, in the form of LED snowflakes, which will surround window displays for the iPad Air and iPhone 5c. The decorations are expected to go up in many countries later this week, and stay in place through early January.

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