iBeacon Features in Internet of Things Application

January 13th, 2017

Since it was launched on 2013, Apple iBeacon was one of many devices with Bluetooth that can be working with Internet of Things Implementation. The IoT Platform is taking beacon to one of their features to ease developers managing the devices.

Although Apple specified iBeacon protocol within the broadcast message, the true pioneers of this technology was an Australian company called “Daelibs”., who first implemented the use of low energy Bluetooth for Proximity detection in 2011, some two years before Apple’s launch of iBeacon. Daelibs used this technology to verify service provision by detecting beacons with bespoke personal proximity devices which streamed data to a centralized cloud service.

iBeacon can also be used with an application as an indoor positioning system, which helps smartphones determine their approximate location or context. With the help of an iBeacon, a smartphone’s software can approximately find its relative location to an iBeacon in a store. Brick and mortar retail stores use the beacons for mobile commerce, offering customers special deals through mobile marketing, and can enable mobile payments through point of sale systems.

Most beacons use BLE technology, because of its low power consumption and implementation costs. The technology only allows for small amounts of data transmission, which is why most beacons only transmits their IDs. Due to its simplicity, beacon technology does not need to battle as many standards as other IoT applications.


Retail is currently the most popular area in which beacon technology is being implemented. Beacons allow for a new way of in-store interaction between customers and retailers. On the one hand, it allows retailers a new way of collecting data about its customers, based on their in-store actions. On the other side, it allows customers to receive personalized offers based on their preferences and their online/in-store behavior.

Sport venues

One of the biggest news last year was Major League Baseball’s adoption of beacon technology. They equipped 20 stadiums with more than 100 Beacons each to help visitors find their seats and to send them notifications about specific discounts.


Last year, Virgin Atlantic equipped the London Heathrow airport with beacons. The company is testing various use cases, adding new features every other week.

Examples include:

Specific offers – In the main area, people receive notifications about specific airline partner services (e.g., 0% commission at the currency exchange).
Indoor navigation – Beacons are used for micro-navigating services, leading passengers to their gates.

Public transport

An app called Wayfindr made by the Royal London Society for Blind People (RLSB’s) Youth Forum and digital product studio ustwo communicates with beacons installed in London’s Tube. It is used for delivering turn-by-turn audible directions to blind people, giving them better chances for navigating in London’s Underground.

Entry Filed under: internet of things

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