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Frank Wolfram

Geometry Global

Does iBeacon light us the way to the Internet of Things?

The iBeacon is analogous to a lighthouse: it represents a known location which can be uniquely identified by its signal. The iBeacon protocol is based on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and is now supported in iOS7 and Android 4.3 devices. When Beacons, small, inexpensive wireless sensors, are installed in a space, they can be detected by smartphones to assist with indoor navigation or to trigger actions. Beacons can transmit customized coupons or even walking directions to the aisle where a particular item is located. It can prompt a customer with special promotions or personalized messages and recommendations. Does iBeacon light us the way to the Internet of Things with more of the physical world connected with the digital world? What are the possibilities? And will the notion of privacy finally cease to exist?

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