iBeacon Technology Tapped to Unlock Location-Specific Newsstand Content on iOS Devices

Exact Editions, a London based digital publishing startup, has begun implementing Apple's iBeacon microlocation receivers to deliver location-based access to iOS Newsstand publications, reports TechCrunch. The iBeacon receivers are used as a part of the company's “ByPlace“ service, which can trigger location specific publications and other content once an iPhone or iPad is nearby.

In the first implementation of the program, patrons of Bar Kick in Shoreditch, UK can access soccer magazine "When Saturday Comes" and style magazine "Dazed & Confused" free of charge while at the bar, with the apps reverting to regular subscription status once out of range of Bar Kick's iBeacons.

ibeacon_exactedition

A deployable iBeacon receiver

Exact Editions expects that selling subscriptions attached to iBeacon delivery will be particularly attractive to a magazine with a niche audience, and one that will be particularly associated with corresponding venues. The principal advantages for the venues are as follows:

1. Suitable content can be selected (eg film magazines for a cinema wifi zone, fashion magazines for an arty venue, finance or business magazines for a location in the City or in an airline lounge etc.)
2. The venue can choose its content to suit its audience, and the iBeacon will generate statistics which indicate which magazines are most used and when.
3. There will be discreet but noticeable in-app branding for the venue, through the use of ‘courtesy panes’ within the app, stating the sponsorship eg “When Saturday Comes brought to you by courtesy of Bar Kick”.
4. As the venues get statistics on the usage of the apps that they host, and as they get in-app credit for the use of those apps, they will be able to measure to an extent the degree to which freely magazine apps generate repeat business. The customer who really enjoys his app and walks out with the app synced to his iPhone has a reason to buy a subscription in iTunes, but he also has a reason to return to the bar where he got some free access.

First introduced at WWDC, iBeacon microlocation APIs are designed to access location data through the Bluetooth Low Energy profile on iOS devices, interacting with physical transmitters. The technology first appeared earlier this year, when Major League Baseball announced plans to begin incorporating Apple's iBeacon APIs into its MLB.com At the Ballpark app to create interactive experiences within stadiums in the near future.

Apple is also said to be incorporating iBeacon technology into its own Apple Store app and retail stores, providing customers with enhanced location-based product information and in-store services. Recently, shopping app Shopkick and Macy's teamed up for the first retail-based iBeacons, allowing customers to find location-specific deals, discounts, and recommendations in the Shopkick app while in a participating Macy's store.

Top Rated Comments

Small White Car Avatar
115 months ago

About the only downside to RFID is it tends to be shorter range, but active tags increase the range significantly.
Only downside?

That's a pretty freaking big downside. How much range do these tags give? The point of iBeacon is that it can provide services in places like department stores.


Could someone kindly break down what exactly iBeacon is and does?
I know it's for the majority of people, but since it keeps coming up I'd like to have an idea of what it is and potential uses for it.
Thanks :p
The easiest example I can give:

You know all that stuff Google can do outside? iBeacon will allow that inside.

So, like, you can ask Google where the best pizza is and it will tell you what streets to take. In the future you'll be able to ask your phone where the shoes you want are located in a mall is and your phone will be able to tell you what steps to take, (even the steps within the shoe store, once you arrive) even though GPS is totally blocked where you are.

There are dozens of other things iBeacon will be able to do (this article is an example of another), but that's the most bare-bones way of thinking about it, I think.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
linuxcooldude Avatar
115 months ago
Bluetooth LE seems like a bit of a waste of time to me, what's wrong with battery-less, licence-free, standards-based RFID? Active RFID tags exist in addition to passive, whereas BT LE requires active tags which will need their battery replacing sooner or later.

About the only downside to RFID is it tends to be shorter range, but active tags increase the range significantly.

Batteries for iBeacons will last on average 2 years with iBeacons costing as low as $99.

Your worried about replacing batteries but are ok with implementing active RFID that use batteries also?

I think iBeacon is going to be much cheaper for retailers to implement then RFID. RFID you will need tags for each product you sell driving the price up. iBeacon you only need enough to cover the square footage of the store.

As a side benefit iBeacon can be used for indoor mapping between retail stores such as malls.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WaxedJacket Avatar
115 months ago
I am just in the market for this kind of tech. I turn off most notifications on my phone because 99% of them are spam or distractions.

It's cool tech but I can only see it being abused and just another thing that will have to be managed by the end user.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Santabean2000 Avatar
115 months ago
I usually have BT switched off. And WiFi too for that matter. In fact I run my phone on airplane mode often when I know I'm unlikely to take or receive a call.

Am I paranoid about having so may radios blasting next to the Crown Jewels?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

USB C Over Lightning Feature

EU Passes Law to Switch iPhone to USB-C by End of 2024

Tuesday October 4, 2022 3:30 am PDT by
The European Parliament today voted overwhelmingly in favor of enforcing USB-C as a common charging port across a wide range of consumer electronic devices, including the iPhone and AirPods, by the end of 2024. The proposal, known as a directive, forces all consumer electronics manufacturers who sell their products in Europe to ensure that a wide range of devices feature a USB-C port. This...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

10 New iOS 16 Features Coming Later This Year

Monday October 3, 2022 2:41 pm PDT by
iOS 16 was released to the public three weeks ago with a customizable Lock Screen, the ability to edit iMessages, improvements to Focus modes, and much more. And in the coming months, iPhone and iPad users have even more new features to look forward to. We've rounded up 10 new features coming to the iPhone and iPad later this year, according to Apple. Many of the features are part of iOS...
ipad pro m1 feature

Gurman: Apple Event This October Remains Unlikely, No Touch ID for iPhone 15

Sunday October 2, 2022 6:41 am PDT by
Apple is developing new iPad Pro, Mac, and Apple TV models, and at least some of these products will be released in October, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. However, Gurman continues to believe that Apple is unlikely to hold an event this month. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said "the big iPhone 14 unveiling last month was probably it for Apple in 2022 in...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.0.3 With More Bug Fixes Following iPhone 14 Launch

Monday October 3, 2022 7:53 am PDT by
iOS 16.0.2 was released last month with several bug fixes for iPhone 14 issues, excessive copy and paste permission prompts, and more. Now, evidence suggests that Apple is planning to release iOS 16.0.3 with additional bug fixes. Evidence of an upcoming iOS 16.0.3 software update has shown up in MacRumors analytics logs, which have been a reliable indicator in the past. There are several...
Apple SIM Card

Apple SIM No Longer Available for Activating New Cellular Data Plans on iPads

Sunday October 2, 2022 8:04 am PDT by
As of October 1, Apple SIM is no longer available for activating new cellular data plans on supported iPad models, according to an Apple support document. Introduced in 2014, the Apple SIM was designed to allow iPad users to activate cellular data plans from multiple carriers around the world. Initially, the Apple SIM was a physical nano-SIM card, but it was embedded inside later iPad Pro...
maxresdefault

Video: AirPods Pro 2 vs. Bose QuietComfort II

Monday October 3, 2022 12:50 pm PDT by
Apple on September 23 officially launched the second-generation version of the AirPods Pro, introducing updated Active Noise Cancellation, Adaptive Transparency, improved sound, and more. Right around the same time, Bose introduced new QuietComfort II earbuds with many similar features, so we thought we'd compare the two to see which has the edge. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for ...
General YouTube Feature 1

You May Soon Need to Be a YouTube Premium Subscriber to Watch 4K Videos

Monday October 3, 2022 4:29 am PDT by
YouTube may make watching videos in 4K quality on the platform exclusive to only YouTube Premium subscribers, according to screenshots posted by users on Twitter and Reddit. On Reddit (1,2) and Twitter, some users have started to recently notice that on iOS, and presumably across other platforms also, YouTube is now saying that in order to watch videos in 4K, the user must be a paying...
dynamic island alan dye

Apple Executives Talk About iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island in New Interview

Sunday October 2, 2022 10:48 am PDT by
In a new interview, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, and Apple's vice president of human interface design, Alan Dye, sat down to discuss the thinking behind the iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island and how it was developed. During the interview with the Japanese magazine Axis, Federighi, who oversees the development of iOS, said Dynamic Island represents the...