Apple's iBeacon Gains 'Made For iPhone' Specification

Apple has implemented a new iBeacon specification and has begun certifying Bluetooth LE devices that utilize its iBeacon API under its Made For iPhone (MFi) program, according to a new report from Beekn.

iBeacons are physical Bluetooth low-energy transmitters that use Apple’s iBeacon API to provide micro-location information to nearby apps and devices, with an accuracy range of a few feet. iBeacons are compatible with Apple’s iPhones and iPads, as well as other devices that use Bluetooth LE, and have thus far been used primarily by retailers and other venues to provide location-specific information.

estimoteibeacon

An Estimote Bluetooth LE Beacon

In order to use the iBeacon name, manufacturers now need to have their devices approved by Apple as part of the MFi program, similar to accessories and hardware for iOS devices. Using the term iBeacon requires manufacturers to meet specific criteria, which are only available after a non-disclosure agreement has been signed.

The new specification gives Apple more control over the iBeacon trademark, which has previously been used by several different manufacturers for various Bluetooth LE devices since iBeacons were introduced in June of 2013. It is no longer possible to use the iBeacon brand without consent from Apple.

As we've noted elsewhere, beacons that carry the iBeacon name are conforming to two things:

- They broadcast Bluetooth LE 'signals' in a way that conforms to the Apple standard for what those signals should contain
- They have use of the iBeacon trademark

Since being introduced last year, iBeacons have been used by multiple retailers and venues in order to enhance visitor experiences in retail outlets, sports arenas, and other locations. Apple has rolled out iBeacons to its own stores as well, providing location-based product information to customers.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
84 months ago
Samsung Sbeacon in 3...2...1
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
84 months ago

Still a crap idea in my opinion. I doubt I'll ever use it.


It's going to be great for places like museums. I hate the fact that it's going to largely used for marketing, but when other knowledge based applications come into play it'll be great.

Imagine cities and towns (like Boston) having their own tours with historical information available to you on the fly, museums that replace the antiquated audio tours with informative and dynamic interactive information right on your phone or tablet.

There are many useful applications of iBeacon, lets just hope that it doesn't get drowned out by unimaginative ad agencies.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
84 months ago



iPhones having just 17% share of smart phone market worldwide, any company that wants to deploy iBeacon-like technology will look for Android customers first.


Oh... like developers do? :rolleyes:

Don't forget... market share is just what was sold this past quarter. You're completely ignoring installed base.

There are a few hundred million iPhones out in the world right now.

What's that? There are over a billion Android phones? Well... how many of those phones are complete garbage? Or more to the point... how many of those billion Android phones have Bluetooth LE ?

Every iPhone since the 4S has Bluetooth LE... and that represents a TON of customers.

Don't get hypnotized by Android's huge market share numbers. It's been proven that iPhone customers spend more money. App developers obviously realize this... and retailers who install iBeacons will too.

So what if 5 Android phones get sold for every 1 iPhone? That doesn't matter when the 1 iPhone is actually more valuable.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
84 months ago

This is going to be a disaster

Everyone will be annoyed at I beacons


Uh, how do you get annoyed by something you have to opt into to use? If you don't have the app that corresponds to a given iBeacon there is NOTHING that happens on your phone.

:rolleyes:
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
84 months ago
Fantastic! I thought I'd lost my oddly geometric hat, but as you can plainly see, it's right there hanging on the flattened tree!

Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
84 months ago
if the iBeacon transmitters are cheap enough, I can see a lot of use for this for all platforms.

Even in home use.

Walk into bedroom, My phone could automagically fire up plex and connect its controls to my bedroom TV

Walk into the kitchen and my phone could automagically start streaming directly to my kitchen stereo.

hop into my car, phone automatically becomes unlocked, turns on bluetooth and turns off Wifi

keep one in pocket. Phone keeps unlocked while within a few feet radius of me.

the concept behind iBeacon can have a lot of use.


and yeah, for museums and the like its a great idea too.
Back in 1999 I went to Alcatraz and took a guided walking tour with headsets. The headset was on a timed playback. you had to keep up with it. Or pause. you had to go in specific order to get the tour in correct order. You had to stay in one location long enough for the record to continue on to the next place cause you coldn't skip.

With iBeacon, They can tell you the exact exhibit you're standing in front of and beam the information / audio what not directly to your phone that way (or your phone goes and retrieves the correct tour info for that location)
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

Apple May Launch This Year's 'iPhone 12' Lineup in Two Stages, With 6.1-inch Models Debuting First

Monday August 3, 2020 3:14 am PDT by
Apple last week confirmed that its "‌iPhone‌ 12" launch will be delayed this year due to the ongoing global health crisis and restrictions on travel. Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later," suggesting a release sometime in October. We're expecting a total of four OLED iPhones in 5.4, 6.1, and...

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 4: Apple TV Widget, Search Improvements, Exposure Notification API and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 11:14 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth developer betas of iOS and iPadOS 14 for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features and design changes included in the update. Changes get smaller and less notable as the beta testing period goes on, but there are still some noteworthy new features in the fourth beta, which we've highlighted below. - Apple TV widget - There's a new Apple TV...

Apple Explains Why You Might See 'Not Charging' When a Mac is Plugged In

Monday August 3, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
If you have a Mac and have seen a "Not Charging" warning when plugging it in to power, Apple last week released a support document that explains why. Macs running macOS 10.15.5 or later have a Battery Health Management feature to preserve the life of the battery, and occasionally, the Battery Health Management option will cause the Mac to pause its charging for calibration purposes.Depending ...

Unreleased iPod Touch with Mac Pro Glossy Black Finish Shared Online

Sunday August 2, 2020 11:32 am PDT by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today posted images of what seems to be a first-generation iPod Touch prototype with a 2013 Mac Pro-style glossy black finish. The Twitter user claims that the iPod Touch prototype pictured has "the same coating as the 2013 Mac Pro." Had the finish been selected for the final product, it also would have been similar to the metallic glossy black finish that...

Phil Schiller Moving on to Become 'Apple Fellow,' Greg Joswiak Taking Over as Marketing SVP

Tuesday August 4, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
Apple's Phil Schiller is moving on to become an "Apple Fellow," Apple announced today, while Greg Joswiak will take over as Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. Schiller will continue to lead the App Store and Apple Events, but will no longer be in charge of marketing. Apple CEO Tim Cook said he is "thrilled" that Joswiak will be leading the marketing team, and that his...

Microsoft to Stop Supporting Office 2016 for Mac in October

Monday August 3, 2020 12:21 pm PDT by
Microsoft's Office 2016 for Mac is set to reach its end of support date on October 13, 2020, and after that date, connecting to Office 365 services using the Office 2016 for Mac software will no longer be supported. Microsoft shared the detail in a support document from July highlighting which versions of Office will be supported for connecting to Office 365 services in the future.Connecting ...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

Apple Shares Requirements for Default Third-Party Browser and Email Apps With Developers

Monday August 3, 2020 4:28 pm PDT by
Apple in iOS 14 plans to allow users to set a third-party app as the default email or browser app on an iPhone or iPad, replacing the current Apple-made default apps Safari and Mail. Apple hasn't provided many details on the new feature to users, but as noted by MacStories' Federico Vittici, Apple has shared documentation with developers who want their apps to have the option to be set as a...