A short introduction to iBeacons

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Beacons are a tech hot topic - everyone's talking about 'em, but not everyone knows what they really are - or how they really work (and how you can apply that knowledge to your brand or business).

At Techdept we spend a lot of time learning about new tech, and we've been playing with various beacon technologies for the last 6 months or so. We think there is a lot of potential for them - not just in retail, but in city centres, museums, galleries, festivals (see link below to one of our blog posts).

Our CTO Rick Grundy has been leading the R&D activity, and has created this short simple presentation to explain just what the heck these things are!

This was initially presented to the Media Lab team at NBC Universal in London, but we have subsequently been asked to present to other leading consumer brands.

Anyway, we hope you enjoy - just tweet us with any Q's @Techdept

To read some of our other thinking on Beacons: http://blog.techdept.co.uk/2014/01/beacon-technology-museums-gyms-events/

Published in: Technology, News & Politics

A short introduction to iBeacons

  1. 1. A SHORT INTRODUCTION TO IBEACONS By @richardgrundy CTO of @Techdept
  2. 2. THE TECHNOLOGY OF THE MOMENT
  3. 3. ANOTHER PIECE OF THE JIGSAW
  4. 4. IN THE BEGINNING THERE WAS BLUETOOTH
  5. 5. POOR USER EXPERIENCES
  6. 6. BLUETOOTH EARNS A BAD NAME
  7. 7. BUT THEN CAME BLUETOOTH LOW ENERGY
  8. 8. WHY THIS CHANGES THINGS Low power, simple devices now possible Constant monitoring for signals with little drain on battery Millions of devices already capable of sending & receiving the signals Apple introduces iBeacon specification with iOS 7
  9. 9. ENOUGH ALREADY! WHAT IS AN IBEACON?
  10. 10. AN IBEACON IS SIMPLY A MARKER
  11. 11. SIMPLE HARDWARE & LONG BATTERY LIFE
  12. 12. THEY DO NOT TRANSMIT CONTENT!
  13. 13. THEY ARE TRIGGERS FOR APPS
  14. 14. YOUR APP DOES NOT HAVE TO BE RUNNING!
  15. 15. BUT IT DOES NEED TO BE INSTALLED.
  16. 16. YOUR APP CAN IGNORE IBEACONS
  17. 17. IBEACONS NOT AN APPLE PRODUCT
  18. 18. HERE COMES THE TECH BIT
  19. 19. THE IBEACON SIGNAL Signal Parts Means Suggested Uses UUID Unique ID One per app, brand or building Major Group ID One per building, floor or room Minor Device ID One per device RSSI Signal Strength Used for distance calculations
  20. 20. DISTANCE CALCULATIONS RSSI (Signal strength) is used to calculate which distance Four distance groups: Unknown: over 30M Far: within 30M Near: within 2M Immediate: within 0.5M
  21. 21. MICRO-LOCATION ISSUES Theoretically capable of fine grained location calculations. In real world testing we have found this to be less than optimal.
  22. 22. WHICH PHONES CAN USE IT? Apple: iPhone 5s, 5c, 5 & 4s Samsung: Galaxy Series Google: Nexus 5, Nexus 4 Sony: Xperia Series Motorola: Droid RAZR, Ultra, Maxx, Mini, Moto G, X HTC: One, One Max
  23. 23. HOW IBEACON APPS WORK Can you keep a lookout for this iBeacon set even if I am closed? No problem. Will let you know when I see one of them. Your app
  24. 24. Please show the user this message Hey I just found one! What do you want to do? OK, will do. Your app
  25. 25. ALERT USER TO OPEN THE APP
  26. 26. USAGE SCENARIOS Retail • Entry and exit events • Micro-location based offers • Customer tracking • Voucher redemption • Loyalty schemes Museums and Art Galleries All Retail plus: • Indoor location-based content and rich multimedia experiences • Visitor journey analysis Events • App based ticketing • Way finding Payment & More • Trigger app based payment • Instant alerts etc.
  27. 27. Your app I can see this beacon What should I do? CMS DRIVEN APPS Here is some location specific content to show...
  28. 28. WHAT SHOULD WE LOOKOUT FOR? Many users turn off Bluetooth to save power Users will turn off notifications if you abuse them Support older devices with GPS options when possible It can take up to 4 minutes to detect a Beacon (although often it is instant) Not all beacons are the same, testing is essential Apple may want certified iBeacons to have a power source There are issues with interference which affect distance calculations
  29. 29. FURTHER READING http://beekn.net/2014/02/ibeacon-bluetooth-le-markers-digital-age/ http://blog.techdept.co.uk/2014/01/beacon-technology-museums-gyms-events/ http://beekn.net/guide-to-ibeacons/ http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/wp/2014/01/07/how-ibeacons-could-change-the-world-forever/ https://developer.apple.com/library/ios/documentation/UserExperience/Conceptual/LocationAwarenessPG/Region Monitoring/RegionMonitoring.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/TP40009497-CH9-SW1 https://www.google.co.uk/search?sclient=psy&hl=en&site=&source=hp&q=iBeacons&btnG=Search
  30. 30. GET MORE INSIGHTS AT OUR BLOG http://blog.techdept.co.uk

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