Many of us use GPS on our phones, however as we know it isn’t very accurate and won’t reliably work indoors.
Apple are trying to improve on this by introducing the new iBeacon system, which ships with last week’s iOS7 software update for their mobile devices. Apple haven’t focused on the technology much apart from saying it uses a low energy version of BlueTooth Wireless Technology to pick up data from sensors, or beacons.
Better location information with improve software recommendations based on local facilities. The technology is also said to work better indoors especially in complex multifloor locations.
Major League Baseball showcased the iBeacon capabilities in front of a small crowd of journalists at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. MLB have a new At The BallPark application to target their fans.
MLB officials showed how their application can display video when fans are close to landmarks. The application can display custom informatio depending on which entrance is used and the fan’s seat, and a coupon pops up when a fan walks into a souvenir shop. The potential for ‘guides’ in museums and other specialised buildings is immense.
Experts say that the iBeacon system is accurate enough to send coupons right at a door, not 10 feet past the door. GPS technology on the other hand can be inaccurate up to half a mile at times.
Android users shouldn’t feel left out completely because the MLB officials said that V4.3 has a way to use Bluetooth to determine location. This version has yet to be widely adopted by many manufacturers.
People worried about the privacy of the software can turn off location services for the entire device or just specific features.
Kitguru says: We see huge potential for this at museums and other places that could use a portable ‘tour guide’.