Ibeacon Android – Let’s say you are walking through the supermarket. If you installed their app, it can show you a special discount at the same time. What do you think happened here? What technology made this connection possible? Your local store uses an Apple iBeacon.
In 2013, Apple adopted a BLE wireless technology called iBeacon. It’s a revolutionary way to deliver location-based services and information to smartphones. The iOS app listens for the signals emitted by the iBeacons and initiates the appropriate action when the phone comes into range.
For example, Virgin Atlantic used iBeacon at one of the busiest airports, Heathrow Airport. The smartphone of any passenger heading to the security checkpoint automatically displays a digital boarding pass that can be verified by airport staff.
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Since iBeacon was introduced in iOS 7, it has been compatible with iPhone 4s and later models. In addition, it is compatible with 3rd generation iPad and 5th generation iPad mini/iPod touch.
A beacon is a compact, inexpensive wireless device used to transmit radio signals to nearby tablets and smartphones. Beacons use radio signals to communicate with mobile apps and initiate actions based on the user’s location. To do this, they rely on low-power and battery-powered (BLE) Bluetooth connectivity to transmit signals. As a business owner, you can embed them in your store or link them to your domain name or shopping cart.
While the terms iBeacon and beacon are widely used in the same sense, they are essentially similar. The main difference is that iBeacon uses Apple technology to transmit signals. It was integrated into the iOS system and allowed the iPad or iPhone to play a dual role – as a transmitter and receiver.
In addition, Apple has developed a standard for beacon-based marketing. There is no difference between BLE technology in iBeacons and conventional beacons, except that iBeacons are built into iOS. Also, Apple called iBeacon its own beacon technology.
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Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is an energy-efficient wireless transmission protocol. Facilitates communication between smart devices within a limited range. Devices like wireless headphones, fitness trackers, smartwatches, smartphones and computers use BLE to make our lives easier.
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) defined BLE by prioritizing energy efficiency. This has allowed hardware companies to integrate energy-saving interfaces into current solutions. That’s why low-power devices like iBeacons are used to power you through a tiny cell phone battery – which can last for months and years.
In the smartphone industry, Apple was an early adopter of BLE in 2011 when it was introduced in the iPhone 4s.
A UUID is a universally unique identifier. It consists of 32 hexadecimal numbers, divided into five groups, with dashes separating them. These five groups include the following numbers:
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Here, characters can be letters A through F or numbers 0 through 9. A group can consist entirely of letters or numbers, or both. Examples of valid UUIDs are listed below:
A UUID is a standard that generates and assigns a unique number to a device such as an iBeacon. The purpose of the UUID is to identify the iBeacon on the network. In this way, it is isolated from other beacons on the network.
By default, if you order iBeacons, you will receive a unique UUID. An entity is allowed to use different UUIDs. For example, it can help to identify multiple installations in different locations.
Major and minor values are sets of numbers passed to iBeacons that improve accuracy. These numbers are unsigned integers between 0 and 65535. You need to set an upper and lower value for the iBeacon format.
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Core values are used to identify and differentiate a group. For example, you can assign a unique high value to a particular floor or room. Instead, you can use small values to identify and distinguish individuals.
Area monitoring allows your app to determine when a device enters or leaves the range of iBeacons. For example, consider a museum with iBeacons for two entrances and an audio guide app. The application is used to monitor a region with two beacons. The app receives notifications when the user enters the museum. It then sends a message and reminds users about the audio guide feature.
While monitoring allows detecting iBeacon movements in range, the range is granular. A group of beacons appears next to each of them.
The range of BLE is variable – it can detect radio signals, where the results depend on the location of the beacons, the user’s device can be in the pocket, bag or hand.
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A BLE device like iBeacon is installed in a retail store, corporate building, museum, subway, train station, hotel, airport, school, hospital or shopping mall, expect its average radius to be accurate to within 3 meters. Also, if you’re tracking an iBeacon in a stadium, industrial plant, or warehouse, expect it to be accurate to within 5 meters on average.
If you plan to install iBeacon for commercial use, install them evenly for best results. Reducing the space between iBeacon nodes will increase system accuracy.
Mirrors and metallic objects affect the accuracy of the iBeacon because they reflect the Bluetooth signal.
Placing the iBeacon nodes closer together does not increase the accuracy of the iBeacons because they have the same signal strength.
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The physical location of iBeacons significantly affects accuracy. Therefore, it is recommended to place them in the following locations:
An iBeacon is used to transmit a signal that Bluetooth enabled devices detect within range. It uses a Bluetooth signal. Beacons come in all sizes and shapes, like small coin cells and thumb drives. It is compatible with iOS and Android platforms and sends incoming notifications to the iBeacon range.
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a location-based technology that tracks a user’s location through search criteria. In addition to displaying information about date, time, location, and driving details, GPS offers many use cases.
Location-based mobile apps use GPS to turn your device into a GPS tracking unit. This technology has many advantages as it has no range limitations and is very versatile.
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The main difference between NFC and iBeacon is that both NFC and iBeacons support mobile payments in stores. iBeacons are compact wireless sensors that use BLE to communicate with smartphones. In contrast, NFC relies on short-range radio waves to allow two devices to exchange information over short distances without requiring battery power. NFC has an ideal range of 4 centimeters, while iBeacons have a range of 50 meters.
In addition, iBeacons may send content such as location, offers and special offers based on a customer’s purchase history or preferences. On the other hand, the user must initiate the interaction with NFC on their own.
NFC is not supported on all phones. However, Bluetooth technology is supported by most devices but must interact with iBeacons.
With iBeacon infrastructure, a retailer, brand or platform understands exactly what a customer needs in a traditional brick and mortar environment. It allows customers to deliver hyperlocal and contextual advertising and messaging.
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An average scenario with iBeacon is this: a customer enters a store and the mobile apps installed on their smartphone look for iBeacons. Once the app detects it, it will interact with your server with the appropriate data (UUID, case). It’s “Welcome to our store and check out the bags on line 2!” It could be a simple message. or it may include special offers, targeted advertising, and helpful reminders such as “You’re running out of peanut butter.”
This technology aims to bring about a paradigm shift in the way brands and consumers interact. iBeacon creates a digital connection to the physical world.
Thanks to the closed positioning system, iBeacon can be used with a mobile app. This allows phones to open context via location. With iBeacon technology, phones can find their location for an iBeacon transmitter in a store. Brick-and-mortar retailers are relying on iBeacons for mobile commerce, offering customers special offers through mobile marketing and offering mobile payments through point-of-sale (PoS) systems.
Another application is to broadcast messages at specific points of interest. A point of interest can be a room, a traffic sign, or a specific location, such as a vending machine or appliance.
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Retailers are among the first to adopt iBeacon technology. In addition to retail stores, they use it at events, international conferences, museums, restaurants and shopping malls to promote their products.
With iBeacon, retailers can build a customer base. Ads are sent when shoppers log in, increasing sales. That’s why over 85% of US marketers use beacons.
IBeacons are integrated with mobile apps and content management systems. After installing a sender, you can easily configure the tag and create actions.
There are a variety of large retail stores such as large supermarkets that carry a wide variety of items.
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