Virgin Atlantic to Integrate iBeacon Technology Into London's Heathrow Airport

Virgin Atlantic is reportedly gearing up to integrate Apple's iBeacon technology into London's Heathrow Airport, according to Re/code. The airliner will be using beacons sourced from startup Estimote, as the transmitters will be deployed near businesses and terminals to notify users of promotional deals and areas of interest.

estimote_ibeacon

In one use case, passengers would receive an offer on their phone for no-fee currency exchange as they near that place of business. The program, which will utilize Apple’s iBeacon technology and the Passbook iOS app, follows a trial in which airline employees donned Google Glass as they greeted first-class passengers upon entering the airport.

First introduced during Apple's 2013 Worldwide Developers Conference, iBeacons enable iOS devices to wirelessly communicate with physical beacons through Bluetooth, as the transmitters are able to deliver specific information to apps when a user is nearby.

iBeacon technology has also been utilized in a number of unique ways since the end of 2013. Shopping app Shopkick and Macy's teamed up to integrate the technology into stores to aide consumers, while Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association have used iBeacons to provide enhanced in-stadium experiences. Apple has even implemented iBeacons into its own retail stores to provide customers with product information and deals, while a London-based cafe and the Consumer Electronics Show have also featured the technology.

Tag: Recode

Top Rated Comments

gnasher729 Avatar
131 months ago
I wonder if there's a jailbreak tweak to disable iBeacon reception.

You just demonstrate that like many people, you have not the slightest clue what iBeacons actually do.

An iBeacon transmits an ID and two numbers. For example, if Virgin Atlantic does this, then their iBeacons would transmit an ID that says "this is a Virgin Atlantic iBeacon", one number that says "this is London Heathrow", and another number that says "this is the beacon at the left corner of the Virgin Atlantic customer support booth".

In order for your iPhone to react to this, you need to install an application that _specifically_ watches out for Virgin Atlantic iBeacons. If you don't have such an app on your phone and actually run it, your iPhone will never detect that these beacons are there. If you don't want this, don't download the app, or don't run it.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AppleP59 Avatar
131 months ago
Just a new way to spam us with more crap. Great.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Daveoc64 Avatar
131 months ago
... so it's going to be a new way to show people advertising?

Why would anyone want this?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macs4nw Avatar
131 months ago
Pretty soon, thinking will be optional; all life's instructions will be 'spoon fed' to us, whether we like it or not….. :D
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AndyUnderscoreR Avatar
131 months ago
So it's something an advertiser can attach to a wall that gives location specific information?

We have those already, they're called posters.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
the8thark Avatar
131 months ago
Pretty soon, thinking will be optional; all life's instructions will be 'spoon fed' to us, whether we like it or not….. :D

The central computer does all our thinking then one day . . . it gains consciousness. That day we called "Judgement Day".
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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