iBeacon refers to Apple’s Bluetooth-based beacon technology which allows Bluetooth Beacon to deliver and/or receive minimal quantity of data within short distances. The normal beacon message or data consists of an UUID (universally unique identifier), a significant as well as a minor value only.
While the idea of ‘beacon’ is applicable to all of hardware appropriate for the Bluetooth Low Energy beneath the Bluetooth 4. specification with iOS being the first platform introducing this technology available in the market, the fundamental idea of BLE was originally devised by Nokia. The name ‘iBeacon’ continues to be trademarked by Apple for its standard beacon protocol.
The iBeacon is undoubtedly an innovative low-cost technology that pulls Location Based Services in iOS to help you apps determine their position with a micro-local scale, after which send hyper-contextual content to users based on the location. iBeacons, however, tend not to use latitude and longitude to define locations, instead depend on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signal, for that iOS devices to detect them.
To sum it up, the iBeacon technology involves two parts – broadcaster or sender (beacon device) plus a receiver (smartphone and app).
Considering that the Bluetooth Low Energy or BLE technology consumes low energy, it is actually ideal for simple applications involving minimal periodic transfers of data. An iBeacon periodically broadcasts a Low-Energy Bluetooth (L.E.B.) signal which could be captured by any iOS devices nearby.
Depending on the data received the iOS device can be now responsible to correctly interpret the message and perform action accordingly. At the moment the iBeacon technology will continue to work with a compatible iOS device which has iOS 7 or later as well as Bluetooth facility switched on.
In simple words, the Bluetooth Low Energy Communication can be explained as small components of data, advertised or broadcasted at frequent intervals through the beacon via radio waves. The iBeacon app development are carried out is such a way that these particular sets of data will be received by devices like iPhone, iPad or iPod, where they can be used as various smartphone applications, causing things such as push messages, prompts and others.
The standard technology for iBeacon calls for a set 100 ms interval. Frequent broadcasting for faster discovery by devices is achievable but it shall change the battery of the iBeacons.
The iBeacon technology can do performing more than just sending meaningful data. The scope and limitation of the technology will also rely on the type of the hardware this has been installed into. While cheaper devices may just emit the fundamental iBeacon protocol, other devices may also offer additional features like sound or light activation, temperature sensing and motion control.
Since iBeacons depend upon a well known technology like Bluetooth that is readily accessible on almost every device without requiring a lot of power, they may be tactfully applied in multiple areas.
Owning an iBeacon network helps brands, retailers, apps or platforms find out wherein a customer is within close proximity. This creates an environment to enable them to send clients hyper-local and meaningful messages/advertisements that may again be instrumental in driving sales.
Any time a customer with an iBeacon compatible device arrives with a store, the apps on his device will alert him the moment it catches the signal from the iBeacons installed inside the store. It shall send a relevant data to its server, upon which app actions, push notifications, etc occur. The basic messages may be special discounts and limited offers or perhaps reminders and thus can enhance your shopping experiences. Going through this, it could be asserted that iBeacons have certainly introduced a whole new means for brand communications.
Recent studies show that iBeacons are also being viewed as helpful mediums that can be used on educational context. As an example, simple games involving students to learn and unveil things and even scientific experiments may be supported via iBeacons. They may be being seen an effective tool that may drive young minds towards different subjects like technology, logic, geography, etc.