Technologies are needed in every aspect of life. Every other day, a new technology is introduced. It doesn’t matter what importance it holds, it can improve any random field of daily lifestyle. The growth of smartphone usage over the past years has increased the demand of new advanced technologies. They are developing little by little and it’s implementation in daily usage also takes time, but in the end it can be helpful.One of them is new concept named “Beacon”, introduced by Apple as “iBeacon”.
Apple iBeacon is a version of beacon technology engineered by Apple for new iOS 7 . It is under construction. Apple didn’t invent beacon technology,it was there (Don’t ask where is “there”). But Apple’s “iBeacon” certainly did make the beacon technology popular. It’s in news a lot and will soon be appear in some major stuff. But before that,what is this beacon thingy and why is it popular?
Beacon is new competitor of GPS technology. It is not similar to GPS of course, but it’s area of usage is pretty much same as GPS. There are some other options to determine location, providing support for lot of location-based apps. With cell tower triangular method location can be determined but it needs more than one tower for accurate location. Connecting with Wifi network also gives location where system should aware the location of Wifi hotspot. But of course GPS is on top in all of them. It pinpoints location by satellite, which are very accurate. All new smartphones consists all of these technologies.
So there are already technologies that can find your current location,so why need this new “Beacon” tech?What difference does it make? Beacon covers the limitations of old technologies. Like GPS can’t work indoors, Cell tower triangulation method is not everytime helpful and if system don’t know where is Wifi hotspot location, it can not give the location.While there are flaws with these technologies working in indoors, Beacon scores full marks.
Beacon technology is based on Bluetooth. It uses Bluetooth to determine indoor locations with increased accuracy. A beacon is simply very low energy proximity sensor. It enables any uniquely identified device like any smartphone or tablet running beacon-enabled apps to know it’s position within a feet. So different devices can determine their position very effectively via Beacon.
The new Bluetooth 4.0, or known as other names like Bluetooth Smart , Bluetooth Low Energy or BLE makes beacon practical. It makes manufacture of beacon very cheap. Bluetooth 4.0 low-energy aspect allows to create beacon for price low as 10$ and can easily run for 2 years on a AA battery.
As mentioned earlier, iBeacon is Apple’s own version of Beacon technology and will be available in new iOS version iOS 7. That will allow every iOS 7 device work as beacon itself or client if user need of the iBeacon system. There are two modes of operation in iBeacon : Monitoring and Ranging. It allows to monitor any entering / exiting devices in range and also allows to identify distance between other devices.It also give various app support with location.Like triggering specific task when entering into certain location.
Beacon For Android.
Sad thing is the Beacon is not officially available in Android, but in future it can be. Android devices can also use Apple’s iBeacon, but there is currently no app available for that task. Some other options are beacon apps developed by major beacon companies like Estimote, Gelo, Swirl, Beaconic and newest Datzing .
The app allows to set smartphone as beacon for free. But only first beacon is free and it costs for setting new beacons.The app uses both WiFi and Bluetooth. The advantage of using Datzing is that it allows to use any device with WiFi or Bluetooth as beacon.
In The End..
Soon many apps will work on Beacon technology.The use of Beacon will frequently increase in many work areas and it will be very useful in daily activity.But even if doesn’t become very effective, you still read something interesting!