Hospital management, smart homes, retail, enterprise use all expected to grow
A new report from ABI Research claims that the technology behind Apple's iBeacons is set to expand on a massive scale over the next five years, thanks to new applications that will make use of the "indoor GPS" abilities and personal notification services of Bluetooth LE-powered beacons. While Apple is the best-known "brand" of Bluetooth-enabled sensors with its iBeacon hardware and technology catching on, the study says Apple is unlikely to get into making the actual hardware that will generate $500 million a year by 2019.
Alerts passengers to air delays, offers seat upgrades or changes, more
The latest company to announce the incorporation of Apple's iBeacon technology into its company workflow is European discount airline EasyJet, which announced on Monday that it will begin installing the devices in select airports in the UK and Europe to test effectiveness. It plans on rolling out the technology on a greater scale over the summer. Users of the just-updated EasyJet iOS app can opt to receive alerts from the "indoor GPS" hardware regarding flight changes and other information.
Retail-oriented technology has promise to become quiet industry powerhouse
On the heels of Virgin Atlantic announcing a pilot program deploying Apple's iBeacon in its lounges, drugstore chain Walgreens subsidiary Duane Reade is now planning to use the Bluetooth-powered "micro-location" technology in 10 of its Manhattan stores, to match a larger-scale Walgreens rollout.
Allows for updates on flight status, welcome messages, board pass display
Virgin Atlantic airlines is now rolling out a pilot program for Bluetooth-based iBeacons to be stationed throughout Heathrow Airport's Terminal 3, in an effort to "provide a greater customer experience" for travellers, the airline said. The proximity-based technology, which can send push notifications to those who permit it as information becomes relevant, can alert users of facilities in the lounge, pull up boarding passes as flyers approach the gates, or update flight status.
Launches mobile app to help users design, implement iBeacon-based 'SensorTags'
Veteran embedded chip and automotive systems maker Texas Instruments has announced plans to incorporate Apple's iBeacon technology in many of the company's forthcoming Bluetooth products, saying that "there are many more applications that could benefit from the technology" beyond its presence popular use in retail shops, restaurants and stadiums. TI will be adding iBeacons to its SimpleLink line of automotive micro-controllers, and it WiLink navigation systems.
Allows curators to easily incorporate iBeacons into exhibits, develop interactive guides
A Dutch startup called LabWerks is introducing a new platform aimed at museums, called mApp, that incorporates Apple's iBeacon technology to allow staffers to quickly and easily roll out interactive exhibits, potentially revolutionizing the mini-industry of museum tour self-guidance. The customizable mApp platform lets institutions use iBeacons that only trigger when visitors come within range of an exhibit, room or area of the museum where more information is available.
Exhibit helps Westerners understand the fear of living in area with land mines
To help promote awareness of land mines and international efforts to clear them from former battlefields around the world, a museum in New York City will be hosting an exhibit utilizing Apple's iBeacon technology, headphones and an iOS or Android app to create a "virtual minefield." The idea, part of the UN International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action being held on April 4, is to allow users to experience the fear of land mines.
Support for iBeacons building slowly
Shopkick has announced a trial of iBeacon installations at 100 American Eagle Outfitter stores, including ones belonging to sibling brand Aerie. The implementation will be the largest deployment of iBeacons at a clothing chain so far, following one of its own at Macy's, which was the inaugural retail use of iBeacons. The technology only began deploying at Apple Stores a couple of weeks later.
Safeway, Giant Eagle in some cities to get iPhone coupons, offers
A new campaign dubbed "Mobile to Mortar" by inMarket is bringing Apple's Bluetooth LE-powered iBeacon technology to over 200 Safeway and Giant Eagle grocery stores in Cleveland, San Francisco and Seattle. The "beacons," tiny signalling devices about the size of a quarter, would alert shoppers who have a Safeway app, or have set up specific reminders, of things such as applicable coupons, items they listed to buy or special offers as they enter a store.
May be first public use of Apple's NFC replacement, iBeacons
Though pundits and Android fans have often derided Apple for not including the technology known as "near-field communications" (NFC) into its products, the technology thus far has seen very limited use and slow growth. In part, the pressure put on Apple was designed to goad the company into kicking NFC into the mainstream. In response, Apple created an alternate technology it calls "iBeacons," -- and has quietly used it for possibly the first time in a new setup option for third-gen Apple TVs.