Bluetooth LE Beacons for Retail: Shopkick Pilots with Macy’s

Apple was one of the first big brands to announce it, Frank & Oak quietly told us their plans, while Radius and Sonic Notify were perhaps the true ‘firsts’. But Macy’s is fast out of the gate through its partnership with ShopKick to support Bluetooth LE ‘beacons’ as part of the in-store shopping experience. (The […]

Introduction to iBeacon: Taking Bluetooth LE for a Test Drive

With the Apple launch of iBeacon – the ability to transmit and detect Bluetooth LE signals, we’re still lacking good real-world examples of the technology in action. We’ve been running our own tests, of course, and piloting them as part of our Virtual Citizen project with the Coalition of Youth Councils (about which more in […]

Apple iBeacon Bugs Complicate Bluetooth LE Experience

Before you attack your new Bluetooth LE beacon in frustration you can blame a possible bug in the Apple API for sudden state changes in finding and ranging beacons. After banging our own heads, Dan Nolan from Proxima confirmed a problem we’d been seeing and which we initially blamed either on the beacons themselves or […]

Bluetooth LE Proximity Technology: What’s the Big Deal?

When Apple adopted Bluetooth LE we finally arrived at a proximity-based technology supported by all the major platforms (with the phones running them soon to follow). With Apple refusing to adopt Near Field Communications (NFC) and challenges in its adoption by consumers, Bluetooth LE and ‘beacons’ finally seem to give us a way to….locate people? […]

iBeacon Tutorial: Ultimate Guide Includes Setting Your Estimote

There’s a sparse library of sample code and tutorials when it comes to Apple iBeacon technology – in part because much of it seems to have been written without access to, you know, actual beacons. Instead, it’s simple stuff like an overview of using two phones to set up broadcasting and monitoring. But Cocoanetics has […]

Bluetooth Beacons: Digital Wallet from Proxima

Bluetooth LE beacons are bringing in a new age of contactless payments. And an Australian company is already out of the gate. Bluetooth LE technology is an NFC killer. The beacons that Apple is putting into its stores aren’t just a way to deliver you product videos or let you make appointments at the Genius […]

Estimote Launches Help Desk

For those of you tinkering with your new kit of Estimote beacons there’s finally a way to get answers to your questions that doesn’t rely on Twitter or hanging out on GitHub. Estimote has launched a new Zendesk-powered community portal that will hopefully make it easier to keep track of common questions and answers (and […]

What’s Inside an Estimote?

What’s inside an Estimote beacon? Not much – and that’s one of the amazing things about Bluetooth LE. Whether you’re using a tiny dongle that you plug into the USB port on your laptop or you have one of the little turtles from Estimote the largest thing they usually hide is a battery. Of course, […]

Apple and Bluetooth Beacons: The Future Has Landed

Apple will deploy iBeacons in its stores, using the Bluetooth low-energy devices to activate content on your phone. But the deployment isn’t just a case of Apple eating its own, um, apple sauce – it might also be the launch pad for Apple to take over the retail world outside its shiny glass and marble […]

Building an iBeacon iOS App: 5 Key Decisions

At first glance, building an iOS app using Apple’s iBeacon API seems fairly straightforward. The API only consists of a few classes and methods and a ‘beacon’ isn’t actually a terribly complicated thing: in most cases (unless it’s paired with other technology) it simply transmits a small packet of data and lets your app do […]