iBeacon in the Enterprise


iBeacon will play a role in the office of the future.

The role of mobile in the enterprise has undergone a sea change in the past year or two.

With companies increasingly abandoning hope that they can prevent the “bring your own device” (BYOD) tidal wave, employees are demanding consumer-level quality in enterprise app experiences. If they don’t get it, they’re hacking their own solutions, carrying their own companion phones where they do their ‘real’ work, and bypassing the approval procedures of the IT department.

But this week, we were reminded that the office of the future won’t just see employees choosing their own phones or laptops…we’ll see physical spaces powered by iBeacon and related technologies.

[Disclosure: we’re not strangers to this space and are partners in a platform that uses beacons and facial recognition to authenticate contractors on job sites and contractors and to manage volunteers at large events].

Robin Connects Spaces

We’re big fans of Robin. This week, they secured $1.4 in funding to continue work on enabling the smart office of the future. As TechCrunch reports:

Imagine walking into a room, having it recognize you, then customize itself to your particular preferences. That’s not the future – it’s happening now thanks to an up-and-coming startup called Robin which uses iBeacon and BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) devices to detect nearby people and things. Designed for use in the workplace, Robin can automate conference room bookings just by you walking into a room. And after you enter, it can also update the screens in the room and the nearby devices, to give you control.

The company is edging towards releasing an SDK for developers which uses RestfulAPI and web sockets to ‘control’ a room. While there’s no date on the release (they’ve been working on it for some time) the tool kit could become a major player in how you get connected devices in the enterprise to ‘talk’ to its users.

Kinvey Launches Authentication

While at first glance it might not seem like it’s connected to beacons, Kinvey has become the leader in providing back-end cloud services for mobile development in the enterprise.

This week, they launched Mobile Identity Connect, which lets enterprises connect their mobile apps to secure sign-in that integrates with identity management systems such as LDAP:

Kinvey’s Mobile Identity Connect is designed specifically with mobile in mind. It presents a client developer with a simple, consistent, OAuth2 authentication flow for all enterprise authentication use cases. Utilizing Kinvey’s AuthLink technology, Kinvey Mobile Connect proxies the authentication to the underlying identity system, and retrieves a token to access enterprise resources. This token is encrypted and temporarily stored in Mobile Identity Connect token store, and an OAuth2 token is generated and returned to the device. Subsequent requests for resources then use the authentication context to securely deliver data and services to mobile devices.

When combined with Kinvey’s support for beacons in the enterprise, the company is positioned to be the go-to resource for many developers.

Brivo Labs

A big player in enterprise and enterprise security, Brivo is also a contender for the connected space. Their developer APIs are robust, integrate beacons, and use ‘social sign-on’ for office environments, sports clubs and other venues.

This week, we were struck by their work with door locks – an unlikely win, perhaps, but if you’ve ever struggled to get into your own office after hours you’ll be able to relate!

Share Your Thoughts

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What does the office of the future look like? How will beacons play a role? Any projects or tools you think we should share?

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