iMuginternet macintosh user group!

May 2015 iMug Meeting
A crash course in iBeacon technology and its applications

Presenter: Tyson Bradford, Mobile Lead @ Klyp

The world around us is getting smarter. The long awaited and highly anticipated 'Internet of Things' has arrived, with iBeacons at the very forefront of this wave.

iBeacon technology allows smartphones to interact with the world around them in real-time. This micro-location context has opened many interesting opportunities already, with many more to come as the technology matures.

At this meeting, iMuggers learned about the exciting world of iBeacons from Tyson Bradford, mobile lead designer at Klyp.

In his fascinating presentation, Tyson explained a beacon is a small device transmitting a unique identification signal using low-energy Bluetooth. Smartphones with an appropriate app can receive the signal and take a specified action, such as providing a notification, as determined by the app.

Apple has developed a special software protocol for this technology called "iBeacon" which is now being widely deployed. Unlike GPS, iBeacons can work inside buildings and draw very little power from the smartphone.

The iBeacon technology is especially useful where knowing your location within a small range is important, so information specific to that location can be provided.

Some of the applications Tyson described include giving real-time directions to people within a large building such as a shopping mall, providing more information about exhibits in museums and galleries, and locking/unlocking electronic locks using a smartphone.

iBeacons is only two years old, so iMuggers will now be well placed to watch this technology as it develops.

More information about iBeacons:

What you need to know about iBeacons - part 1
What you need to know about iBeacons - part 2