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NFL brings iOS-compatible beacon tech to New York for Super Bowl

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
It was reported on Friday that the NFL has rolled out a micro-location beacon network in New York's Times Square and MetLife Stadium, with the transmitters set to serve up personalized ads to football fans during the Super Bowl.

Gimbal
A Qualcomm Gimbal beacon being installed in Times Square for Super Bowl Sunday. | Source: The New York Times


Speaking with The New York Times, the National Football League's general manager of mobile Manish Jha explained that the beacon installation is an experiment to help gauge the effectiveness of micro-location ads.

"The power of this is it really is able to connect the real world, the brick-and-mortar world, with the virtual world with a level of granularity that hasn't existed before," Jha said. He added that the NFL will not connect personal and location data with the Super Bowl test, thereby protecting end-user privacy as the league figures out how to best leverage beacon tech.

Apple sparked interest in micro-location, or context aware, technology with iBeacon, a framework built on the Bluetooth Low Energy protocol. The location-aware iBeacons feature two-way communication, meaning the devices can advertise personalized specials to end users while tracking customer traffic information for store owners.

iBeacon has seen test applications at Macy's and all U.S. Apple Store locations.

Other companies have jumped on board with their own systems that work in a nearly identical fashion and are usually compatible with iOS and Google's Android.

While not specifically mentioned in the article, photographs illustrating the NFL's beacon rollout show Qualcomm's Gimbal product line is being deployed. The company's inexpensive hardware, which can be purchased for as little as $5 per transmitter, is compatible with iOS, but is more limited in scope when compared to iBeacon.

Whereas Apple's protocol can theoretically leverage iPhones and iPads as transceiver beacons, Gimbal units can only be used on the content server and collection side. Currently two Gimbal models are available, the $10 Series 20 and the $5 Series 10. From the publication's photos, it appears the NFL chose to go with the more powerful Series 20 device.

The NFL is not alone in its hyper-personalized advertising effort. Earlier this week, it was reported that Major League Baseball will be rolling out thousands of Qualcomm beacons in 20 stadiums ahead of this year's season.

Those attending the Super Bowl -- or who will be in the area -- on Sunday can access the beacon network through the NFL Mobile iOS app.
post #2 of 33
The guy in the photo looked like a ninja planting a bomb...
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #3 of 33

So It Is Written so It Shall Be Done...

New, Interactive, Effective location based advertisings are upon us folks...
...and again Apple devices are leading the charge.


Edited by AppleSauce007 - 2/1/14 at 10:20am
post #4 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


Those attending the Super Bowl -- or who will be in the area -- on Sunday can access the beacon network through the NFL Mobile iOS app.

Just so I have a better understanding of this technology, can someone here answer a question? 

 

Will those who want to take advantage of what iBeacons offer need to download an app for every participating store or organization? In other words, will I need to download an NFL, MLB, Apple and Macy's (etc.) app in order to participate in their particular use of their iBeacon technology?

 

Edit add-on: And will the app launch automatically when in close proximity to the iBeacon?


Edited by Dickprinter - 2/1/14 at 7:54am

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post #5 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post

Just so I have a better understanding of this technology, can someone here answer a question? 

Will those who want to take advantage of what iBeacons offer need to download an app for every participating store or organization? In other words, will I need to download an NFL, MLB, Apple and Macy's (etc.) app in order to participate in their particular use of their iBeacon technology?

I believe so. The reasoning is, a lot of people don't want to get blasted with promos when walking into a store without first agreeing.
post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post

Just so I have a better understanding of this technology, can someone here answer a question? 

Will those who want to take advantage of what iBeacons offer need to download an app for every participating store or organization? In other words, will I need to download an NFL, MLB, Apple and Macy's (etc.) app in order to participate in their particular use of their iBeacon technology?

Yes and no. It's possible for, say, Acme's General Sports app to have partners with NFL, MLB, etc. to get permission to add all the iBeacon data to a single app but so far it's too nascent that I doubt that occurred and it's possible it might now occur.

A possible downside of iBeacons is that one could obtain iBeacon location and unique ID info and add that to an app that will spam you. The difference is that unlike an email account you can delete any abusive app quickly and painlessly which means this possibility highly improbable for any legitimate app maker.


PS: I'm not sure how well known this is but it should be noted there is nothing keeping any other mobile OS or app vendor from incorporating all current iBeacon device access to their systems. Apple's iBeacons, while their invention is just a branding at this point. The BLE data can be accessed by any device that has BT 4.0 which does limit it in scope to only high-end devices with very little developer effort and no need for any iBeacon device to be changed to accommodate non-IOS devices. Apple could potentially add proprietary protocols that would effectively lock out other devices but as of right now it's just standard BLE that will trigger an app event.

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post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple sparked interest in micro-location, or context aware, technology with iBeacon, a framework built on the Bluetooth Low Energy protocol. The location-aware iBeacons feature two-way communication, meaning the devices can advertise personalized specials to end users while tracking customer traffic information for store owners.

Wrong!

An iBeacon app on customer device can only "listen" for iBeacons and receive content/notifications using the iBeacon protocol.

An iBeacon is analogous to a radio transmitter broadcasting into the airwaves.

An iBeacon app on customer device is analogous to a radio receiver listening for and receiving the radio signals.

If the app is only listening, there is no way that the customer or device can be detected or tracked!


Another way to think about it...

If your GPS receiver can [listen for and] locate 3 GPS Satellite Transmitter signals -- then your receiver can determine where you are -- the GPS Satellite Transmitters don't know that you are listening or where you are (or that you even exist)... An iBeacon is analogous to a local area GPS Transmitter.
Edited by Dick Applebaum - 2/1/14 at 7:48am
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post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by justp1ayin View Post


I believe so. The reasoning is, a lot of people don't want to get blasted with promos when walking into a store without first agreeing.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Yes and no. 

So it's possible that there could be one generic app tied to BLE (produced by Apple) that would be initially downloaded to be the central springboard app, so to speak, steering people to another app--or gives them notification that-- iBeacon technology is being used. Then, that generic app would provide a link to that specific app for one to download, therefore making it a user option to download the app and participate in the benefit afforded through the iBeacons at that (or any) given location or venue.

 

OR

 

Will we eventually be getting an iOS software update that allows a pop-up, similar to the WIFI window that pops-up listing all of the wifi networks available, so we can just touch and choose an app in that way, which, once again, makes it a user option to participate.

 

Am I thinking this out correctly?

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post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


Wrong!

An iBeacon app on customer device can only "listen" for iBeacons and receive content/notifications using the iBeacon protocol.

An iBeacon is analogous to a radio transmitter broadcasting into the airwaves.

An iBeacon app on customer device is analogous to a radio receiver listening for and receiving the radio signals.

If the app is only listening, there is no way that the customer or device can be detected or tracked!


Another way to think about it...

If your GPS receiver can [listen for and] locate 3 GPS Satellite Transmitter signals -- then your receiver can determine where you are -- the GPS Satellite Transmitters don't know that you are listening or where you are (or that you even exist)... An iBeacon is analogous to a local area GPS Transmitter.

False!

 

I can read the documented version too. You'd have to be embarrassingly naive to believe that unwitting customers and devices can't be detected or tracked.

post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post
<bla bla bla /snip>

If your GPS receiver can [listen for and] locate 3 GPS Satellite Transmitter signals -- then your receiver can determine where you are -- the GPS Satellite Transmitters don't know that you are listening or where you are (or that you even exist)... An iBeacon is analogous to a local area GPS Transmitter.

 

It does support 2 way communication and the vendor writes the app.  

It would be foolish not to not to track how often you visit the store and what departments. 

post #11 of 33
duplicate
Edited by Dick Applebaum - 2/1/14 at 12:43pm
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post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Wrong!


An iBeacon app on customer device can only "listen" for iBeacons and receive content/notifications using the iBeacon protocol.


An iBeacon is analogous to a radio transmitter broadcasting into the airwaves.


An iBeacon app on customer device is analogous to a radio receiver listening for and receiving the radio signals.

If the app is only listening, there is no way that the customer or device can be detected or tracked!



Another way to think about it...


If your GPS receiver can [listen for and] locate 3 GPS Satellite Transmitter signals -- then your receiver can determine where you are -- the GPS Satellite Transmitters don't know that you are listening or where you are (or that you even exist)... An iBeacon is analogous to a local area GPS Transmitter.
False!

I can read the documented version too. You'd have to be embarrassingly naive to believe that unwitting customers and devices can't be detected or tracked.

1) Please point me to the Apple iBeacon documentation which shows how an iDevice app can be tracked if it is only listening for iBeacons.

2) Certainly an iDevice app can transmit using:
  • Cell radio
  • WiFi
  • Core Bluetooth (not iBeacon) protocol
  • Act as an iBeacon itself use iBeacon protocol

3) If an iDevice app is transmitting any of the above it can be detected and tracked

4) If an iDevice app is transmitting none of the above, only listening, it cannot be detected or tracked.

Now, Apple has a curated App store and has pretty strict rules on Location Services, which includes iBeacons. An iDevice, a Mac or a specialty device can be setup as a sniffer to detect if a submitted app is transmitting when it claims it is not -- and, likely, that would cause the app to be rejected.

I suppose that is possible for an iDevice app to only listen for iBeacons, log those it finds -- then later have the iDevice call home and upload the logs, after-the-fact (and after the user has left the store) using WiFi... But that would be of lesser value, and if caught, that would, likely, cause the app to be removed from the App Store.

It is far more likely that your iDevice is using WiFi or Cell to access the Internet while shopping -- those actions can be detected and you can be located and tracked. But that can happen now -- and has no correlation to whether iBeacons are deployed or not!
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post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

Quote:



If your GPS receiver can [listen for and] locate 3 GPS Satellite Transmitter signals -- then your receiver can determine where you are -- the GPS Satellite Transmitters don't know that you are listening or where you are (or that you even exist)... An iBeacon is analogous to a local area GPS Transmitter.

It does support 2 way communication and the vendor writes the app.  
It would be foolish not to not to track how often you visit the store and what departments. 

Using iBeacon protocol, you can only listen for iBeacons and receive the following information (suggested/probable uses):
  • proximityUUID (an unique ID -- likely used to identify the store chain)
  • Major (Identify a Store Number within the store chain)
  • Minor (identify an aisle or shelf within the store)
  • proximity - Immediate: ( < 1 meter);  Near (1 - 2 Meters);  Far (2-50 meters);  Out Of Range
  • RSSI Radio Signal strength -- can be used with proximity to compute more granular distance from an iBeacon

An app can listen for up to 20 proximityUUIDs (AIR)... These get pushed down to the cell radio (for efficiency). I believe that any iDevice can listen for a maximum 20 proximityUUIDs -- regardless of how many are listened for in each app.

The suggested usage is that when you approach an iBeacon, the app detects it and displays (or notifies) an offer...

There is no 2-way communication involved -- the content is displayed from within the app.


There are other, lower-level Core Bluetooth protocols -- other than iBeacons. These can involve 2-way communication, Typically these are use for things like exercise/heart monitors, temperature/thermostats, etc. These, typically involve: advertising;  connection establishment; one-to-one connection between 2 devices to exchange minimal data (about 29 bytes per packet). In order preserve the batteries of the devices, the apps on both ends will stop advertising/listening when 2 devices are connected.

It would be impractical for an iBeacon to be used this way -- as it would only serve 1 customer at a time and still drain the batteries of both devices. As I mentioned in an earlier post, there are much better ways to exchange data (and to detect and track you) using WiFi or Cell radio in the store.

So, yeah, you can backup your Ferrari at 100 mph in your driveway -- but it wouldn't be very useful and you'd consume tuneups as if they were M&Ms.
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post #14 of 33
We are all gonna sit here and debate a conspiracy theory that we made up ?
post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by justp1ayin View Post

I believe so. The reasoning is, a lot of people don't want to get blasted with promos when walking into a store without first agreeing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Yes and no. 
So it's possible that there could be one generic app tied to BLE (produced by Apple) that would be initially downloaded to be the central springboard app, so to speak, steering people to another app--or gives them notification that-- iBeacon technology is being used. Then, that generic app would provide a link to that specific app for one to download, therefore making it a user option to download the app and participate in the benefit afforded through the iBeacons at that (or any) given location or venue.

OR

Will we eventually be getting an iOS software update that allows a pop-up, similar to the WIFI window that pops-up listing all of the wifi networks available, so we can just touch and choose an app in that way, which, once again, makes it a user option to participate.

Am I thinking this out correctly?

Yeah... Kinda'

Say you are going to San Jose, for a night out -- and you are interested in karaoke bars and mid-range Italian or French restaurants. If an app like Yelp supports iBeacons, you could:
  1. before leaving tell Yelp where and what you are looking for
  2. Yelp would return the unique iBeacon IDs (iBeacon proximityUUIDs) for the activities you seek and store them in your phone
  3. let's say there are more than 20 iBeacon IDs -- so you can't listen for all of them at once
  4. while out and about the Yelp app uses a CoreBluetooth request (not iBeacon) to listen for any nearby UUIDs
  5. any nearby UUIDs are returned in an array to the Yelp app *
  6. theoretically, the Yelp app could filter the array of UUIDs for only those of interest and notify you as appropriate.

* a problem occurs because Apple's Core Bluetooth doesn't return the actual UUIDs -- rather, it generates random UUIDs -- so the Yelp app cannot identify who/what belongs to the UUDIs.


As an alternative to the above scenario:
  1. before leaving tell Yelp where and what you are looking for
  2. Yelp would return the unique iBeacon IDs (iBeacon proximityUUIDs) for the captivities you seek and store them in your phone
  3. let's say there are more than 20 iBeacon IDs -- so you can't listen for all of them at once
  4. Yelp makes you pick the top 20 from the list of iBeacon IDs
  5. while out and about the Yelp app uses an iBeacon request to listen for any nearby (20 selected) UUIDs
  6. the Yelp app detects nearby UUIDs and notifies you as appropriate.


We are at the very early stage of Apple's iBeacon technology. I suspect that Apple is being very conservative, at first, to see how the tech is used and abused...
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post #16 of 33
Hm. Some time back I read in a forum thread that one idea of this tech was to interface with a customer at the example of a person entering a clothes store. Using the store specific app it would have data about last visits, which departments and products were visited and based on this information come up with specific targeted info/ads that might be of particular interest to that customer.
How would this be possible on a pure one-way information flow basis?

Can it be that as standard you are in "radio" mode I.e. Only listening in. But if you chose to opt in you can activate the "two way" exchange of information?
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post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by WonkoTheSane View Post

Hm. Some time back I read in a forum thread that one idea of this tech was to interface with a customer at the example of a person entering a clothes store. Using the store specific app it would have data about last visits, which departments and products were visited and based on this information come up with specific targeted info/ads that might be of particular interest to that customer.
How would this be possible on a pure one-way information flow basis?

Can it be that as standard you are in "radio" mode I.e. Only listening in. But if you chose to opt in you can activate the "two way" exchange of information?

Yes, that can be done within the app -- if you allow it;

Here's one way it could work -- with one way communication only iBeacon to app
  • You are running the Nordstrom's iBeacon app on your iPhone (automatically updated) with the latest offers and iBeacon information
  • The app listens for "Nordstrom's" iBeacons for the Palo Alto store
  • The store has deployed iBeacons at the doors, departments, aisles, shelves, SKUs... whatever makes sense
  • The app detects that you are approaching the store and beckons/welcomes you
  • As you move through the store the app detects that you are near to a particular iBeacon (department, aisle, shelf, SKU... whatever)
  • based on the proximity of a specific iBeacon -- it makes a suggestion/offer from content within the app...
  • it logs that suggestion/offer on your iPhone

Later, you access the Nordstrom's web site and optionally identify yourself.
  • You upload your log and receive a token which identifies all your prior interests

The next time the Nordstrom's app is updated on your iPhone, the token is analyzed and current offers, based on your previous interests, are stored on your iPhone -- more likely, this process takes place (at your option) when you launch the Nordstrom's app on your iPhone

This could work while you remain totally anonymous -- all Nordstrom's knows is that someone out there has these interests based on the passing of a token.

Or, you could decide that you trust Nordstrom's and allow them to identify you, track you, record your interests, make offers...

While you may be OK with Nordstrom's, you may not be OK with other establishments -- and not allow them to know who you are.

It is interesting that a recent Apple patent application will even allow you to purchase something in-store or online, anonymously, with a token -- instead of passing credit card and personal information...
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post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Yes, that can be done within the app -- if you allow it;

Here's one way it could work -- with one way communication only iBeacon to app
  • You are running the Nordstrom's iBeacon app on your iPhone (automatically updated) with the latest offers and iBeacon information
  • The app listens for "Nordstrom's" iBeacons for the Palo Alto store
  • The store has deployed iBeacons at the doors, departments, aisles, shelves, SKUs... whatever makes sense
  • The app detects that you are approaching the store and beckons/welcomes you
  • As you move through the store the app detects that you are near to a particular iBeacon (department, aisle, shelf, SKU... whatever)
  • based on the proximity of a specific iBeacon -- it makes a suggestion/offer from content within the app...
  • it logs that suggestion/offer on your iPhone

Later, you access the Nordstrom's web site and optionally identify yourself.
  • You upload your log and receive a token which identifies all your prior interests

Hmmm. So you really think Nordstroms would design their app for you to be anonymous? Really? Sure they could...
...but IMHO they won't.

Knowing you" is too valuable not to take advantage of given the chance. Of course they'll offer a carrot to get you to sign up and share your personal info. There's always carrots, you just don't recognise them as such.

The next time the Nordstrom's app is updated on your iPhone, the token is analyzed and current offers, based on your previous interests, are stored on your iPhone -- more likely, this process takes place (at your option) when you launch the Nordstrom's app on your iPhone

This could work while you remain totally anonymous -- all Nordstrom's knows is that someone out there has these interests based on the passing of a token.

Or, you could decide that you trust Nordstrom's and allow them to identify you, track you, record your interests, make offers...

While you may be OK with Nordstrom's, you may not be OK with other establishments -- and not allow them to know who you are.

It is interesting that a recent Apple patent application will even allow you to purchase something in-store or online, anonymously, with a token -- instead of passing credit card and personal information...

Really Dick? Why would Nordstom's design their app for you to be anonymous? "Knowing you" is far too valuable. Sure they technically could do it, but ain't gonna happen IMO. But they will give you a couple of carrots like a special discount, one-off deal or shopping reward points in exchange for letting them know who you are, so it won't be a one-way street. You'll get something back.
Edited by Gatorguy - 2/1/14 at 2:07pm
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post #19 of 33

John Anderton! you look like you could use a nice cold Bud!

Time to get another hot dog, John Anderton!

Hey John Anderton, The waiting time at urinal 16B is only 5 minutes. Be sure to visit the refreshment stand on your way back, John Anderton!

post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Yes, that can be done within the app -- if you allow it;

Here's one way it could work -- with one way communication only iBeacon to app
  • You are running the Nordstrom's iBeacon app on your iPhone (automatically updated) with the latest offers and iBeacon information
  • The app listens for "Nordstrom's" iBeacons for the Palo Alto store
  • The store has deployed iBeacons at the doors, departments, aisles, shelves, SKUs... whatever makes sense
  • The app detects that you are approaching the store and beckons/welcomes you
  • As you move through the store the app detects that you are near to a particular iBeacon (department, aisle, shelf, SKU... whatever)
  • based on the proximity of a specific iBeacon -- it makes a suggestion/offer from content within the app...
  • it logs that suggestion/offer on your iPhone

Later, you access the Nordstrom's web site and optionally identify yourself.
  • You upload your log and receive a token which identifies all your prior interests

The next time the Nordstrom's app is updated on your iPhone, the token is analyzed and current offers, based on your previous interests, are stored on your iPhone -- more likely, this process takes place (at your option) when you launch the Nordstrom's app on your iPhone

This could work while you remain totally anonymous -- all Nordstrom's knows is that someone out there has these interests based on the passing of a token.

Or, you could decide that you trust Nordstrom's and allow them to identify you, track you, record your interests, make offers...

While you may be OK with Nordstrom's, you may not be OK with other establishments -- and not allow them to know who you are.

It is interesting that a recent Apple patent application will even allow you to purchase something in-store or online, anonymously, with a token -- instead of passing credit card and personal information...

Ok thanks.

Sounds quite interesting.
But then sgainin curious to see how the commercial interests of companies will support this "anonymous path".
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post #21 of 33
For those of you suggesting that iBeacons are going to be used to violate your privacy, track you etc.…

Why send a boy to do a man's job?

Here's a video by a company that Apple rececntly bought:

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post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

For those of you suggesting that iBeacons are going to be used to violate your privacy, track you etc.…

Why send a boy to do a man's job

I'm not suggesting iBeacons will track you. In and of themselves they can't so I personally have zero concerns about Apple's involvement. But they will be the backbone for a multitude of 3rd party applications that will track you. Potentially worse, and unlike Google or iAd, their data collection and usage may not be solely for semi-anonymous targeted ads from that vendor. Disagree?
Edited by Gatorguy - 2/1/14 at 3:50pm
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post #23 of 33
Enjoy the game people, put the phone down, and watch the game.
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

<<br /> It is far more likely that your iDevice is using WiFi or Cell to access the Internet while shopping -- those actions can be detected and you can be located and tracked. But that can happen now -- and has no correlation to whether iBeacons are deployed or not!

 



Indeed this is the issue about security. Since each app is controlling how to process the detection of an iBeacon it is possible that when Internet access is available or in the case that it is not, a log file can be written for later upload, but either way, the app developers can cetainly gleen information about each registered user of the app.

I'm not that familiar with the requirements but perhaps you can tell me if an app is required to ask permission to use your location based on iBeacon just like when it asks for your permission for GPS and wifi location detection?
Edited by mstone - 2/1/14 at 8:41pm

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post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

<<br /> It is far more likely that your iDevice is using WiFi or Cell to access the Internet while shopping -- those actions can be detected and you can be located and tracked. But that can happen now -- and has no correlation to whether iBeacons are deployed or not!

 



Indeed this is the issue about security. Since each app is controlling how to process the detection of an iBeacon it is possible that when Internet access is available or in the case that it is not, a log file can be written for later upload, but either way, the app developers can cetainly gleen information about each registered user of the app.

I'm not that familiar with the requirements but perhaps you can tell me if an app is required to ask permission to use your location based on iBeacon just like when it asks for your permission for GPS and wifi location detection?

Yes!
Quote:
Overview

The CLLocationManager class defines the interface for configuring the delivery of location- and heading-related events to your application. You use an instance of this class to establish the parameters that determine when location and heading events should be delivered and to start and stop the actual delivery of those events. You can also use a location manager object to retrieve the most recent location and heading data.

A location manager object provides support for the following location-related activities:
  • Tracking large or small changes in the user’s current location with a configurable degree of accuracy.
  • Reporting heading changes from the onboard compass. (iOS only)
  • Monitoring distinct regions of interest and generating location events when the user enters or leaves those regions.
  • Deferring the delivery of location updates while the app is in the background. (iOS 6 and later only)
  • Reporting the range to nearby beacons.

Some location services require the presence of specific hardware on the given device. For example, heading information is available only for devices that contain a hardware compass. This class defines several methods that you can use to determine which services are currently available.

Important: In addition to hardware not being available, the user has the option of denying an application’s access to location service data. During its initial uses by an application, the Core Location framework prompts the user to confirm that using the location service is acceptable. If the user denies the request, the CLLocationManager object reports an appropriate error to its delegate during future requests. You can also check the application’s explicit authorization status using the authorizationStatus method.


https://developer.apple.com/library/ios/documentation/CoreLocation/Reference/CLLocationManager_Class/CLLocationManager/CLLocationManager.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/TP40007125-CH3-SW8
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post #26 of 33
I'm as paranoid as anyone, and I've used a Wifi sniffer before; you'd be amazed how much identifying data is exchanged over an "anonymous" protocol.

That being said, someone please write an app for Home Despot and Whale Foods Market that will let me search for products I want to buy, then direct me to the aisle and shelf that they are located on.

I am so tired of useless retail apps that don't let me search for products available in the store I am currently visiting and can't tell me exactly where they are located.

Also, once this works, trrorsts will use it to locate you on aisle six for a "cleanup". :-p
Edited by vaporland - 2/2/14 at 6:51am
post #27 of 33

 

So now you're saying that you can be tracked with iBeacons if the user doesn't opt-out?  If not, why would someone need to opt-out of location tracking if iBeacons can't track you in the first place due to their "one directional" nature?

post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post


So now you're saying that you can be tracked with iBeacons if the user doesn't opt-out?  If not, why would someone need to opt-out of location tracking if iBeacons can't track you in the first place due to their "one directional" nature?


My answer is "Yes" to the question: "...tell me if an app is required to ask permission to use your location based on iBeacon just like when it asks for your permission for GPS and wifi location detection?".


Your assumption that "So now you're saying that you can be tracked with iBeacons if the user doesn't opt-out?" is false... I am not saying that -- rather you are making an assumption!


I don't understand if some of you are in denial -- or if you are being deliberately obtuse.


Let's define some things:

Tracking: detecting where you are at any given time and recording your movement


When Location Services uses GPS/AWiFi to determine your location, it receives latitude and longitude coordinates of where you are -- as you move these can be updated at specified intervals (less frequent == less battery usage). Here, the hard work (figuring your location longitude and latitude) is done on remote servers by normalizing and triangulating the signals of 3 or more GPS Satellites/AWiFi Tower data. Your iPhone App receives a long/lat point and a circle with a radius indicating accuracy.

When Location Services uses iBeacons to determine your proximity, it receives iBeaconID (proximityUUID, Major, Minor);   Proximity (Immediate, Near, Far, Unavailable);  RSSI (Radio Signal Strength).  That's It -- it doesn't receive any longitude or latitude -- just the proximity of one or more iBeacons.


Certainly the iPhone App could pre-store where the iBeacons are (their longitude and latitude) -- but that isn't furnished by the iBeacon.


Now let's consider the practicality of doing tracking:

If you look at the WiFiSLAM video I posted earlier, you will learn that there are a lot of WiFi and other signals floating around a given inside area. There is a lot of noise, interference, variation in signal-strength... WiFiSLAM uses frequent (many times a second) signals and normalizes them to avoid wide variations. Then, extensive calculations and stochastic analysis are used to determine the probability of where you are -- this is some heavyweight computing -- not practical on an iPhone.

When an iPhone app uses iBeacons, there is a similar amount of noise, interference and variance in signal-strength. But, an iBeacon, likely, won't broadcast its ID and proximity more than once per second -- or it would exhaust its battery. Practically, it would take an iPhone app 5-10 seconds (or more) to normalize the signals to determine how far you are from a particular iBeacon -- within an accuracy of, say, 10-20 feet. Then it would need to do the same for 2 additional iBeacons so it could trilaterate where you are (specific area) within the store... IDK, maybe this would be accurate to a 50-100 foot radius. So, the iPhone App would know where you were (how far away from 3 iBeacons) 10 seconds ago, within a radius of 100 feet (at worst case) if my estimates are correct.

So what does the iPhone App do? log the inexact data, call home with it... Then, to [keep] track where you are, likely, the iPhone app would need to start a new set of calculations every second -- to overlap the calculations already in progress... That would really drain the iPhone battery.


So, while it may be theoretically possible to track you with an iBeacon -- it really isn't practical!



Here's an explanation of Trilateration:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trilateration


Here's a C program that does Trilateration:
Quote:
Example C program[edit]

This is an enhanced version of the example program I submitted earlier. It is a lightly-tested implementation of the trilateration algorithm.
The program reads the coordinates and the radius for each sphere from standard input, then calculates the intersection point, if any.
This version handles correctly the situation where the three spheres are colinear. For example,
{\bar p}_1 = (0, \ 0, \ 0), \ r_1 = 1
{\bar p}_2 = (3, \ 0, \ 0), \ r_2 = 2
{\bar p}_3 = (9, \ 0, \ 0), \ r_3 = 8
which intersect at (1, \ 0, \ 0).
(I tested the function with six billion intersecting but otherwise random spheres, and maxzero = 0.000000000001 \ min(r_1, r_2, r_3). All solutions were found, no false negatives were reported. The maximum relative error in the distances (compared to radii) in the solutions was less than 0.0000000001. The tests did not include any non-intersecting sphere configurations. Nominal animal (talk) 16:09, 19 June 2010 (UTC))
#include
#include

/* No rights reserved (CC0, see http://wiki.creativecommons.org/CC0_FAQ).
* The author has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights
* to this program, to the fullest extent possible under law.
*/

/* Largest nonnegative number still considered zero */
#define MAXZERO 0.0

typedef struct vec3d vec3d;
struct vec3d {
double x;
double y;
double z;
};

/* Return the difference of two vectors, (vector1 - vector2). */
vec3d vdiff(const vec3d vector1, const vec3d vector2)
{
vec3d v;
v.x = vector1.x - vector2.x;
v.y = vector1.y - vector2.y;
v.z = vector1.z - vector2.z;
return v;
}

/* Return the sum of two vectors. */
vec3d vsum(const vec3d vector1, const vec3d vector2)
{
vec3d v;
v.x = vector1.x + vector2.x;
v.y = vector1.y + vector2.y;
v.z = vector1.z + vector2.z;
return v;
}

/* Multiply vector by a number. */
vec3d vmul(const vec3d vector, const double n)
{
vec3d v;
v.x = vector.x * n;
v.y = vector.y * n;
v.z = vector.z * n;
return v;
}

/* Divide vector by a number. */
vec3d vdiv(const vec3d vector, const double n)
{
vec3d v;
v.x = vector.x / n;
v.y = vector.y / n;
v.z = vector.z / n;
return v;
}

/* Return the Euclidean norm. */
double vnorm(const vec3d vector)
{
return sqrt(vector.x * vector.x + vector.y * vector.y + vector.z * vector.z);
}

/* Return the dot product of two vectors. */
double dot(const vec3d vector1, const vec3d vector2)
{
return vector1.x * vector2.x + vector1.y * vector2.y + vector1.z * vector2.z;
}

/* Replace vector with its cross product with another vector. */
vec3d cross(const vec3d vector1, const vec3d vector2)
{
vec3d v;
v.x = vector1.y * vector2.z - vector1.z * vector2.y;
v.y = vector1.z * vector2.x - vector1.x * vector2.z;
v.z = vector1.x * vector2.y - vector1.y * vector2.x;
return v;
}

/* Return zero if successful, negative error otherwise.
* The last parameter is the largest nonnegative number considered zero;
* it is somewhat analoguous to machine epsilon (but inclusive).
*/
int trilateration(vec3d *const result1, vec3d *const result2,
const vec3d p1, const double r1,
const vec3d p2, const double r2,
const vec3d p3, const double r3,
const double maxzero)
{
vec3d ex, ey, ez, t1, t2;
double h, i, j, x, y, z, t;

/* h = |p2 - p1|, ex = (p2 - p1) / |p2 - p1| */
ex = vdiff(p2, p1);
h = vnorm(ex);
if (h <= maxzero) {
/* p1 and p2 are concentric. */
return -1;
}
ex = vdiv(ex, h);

/* t1 = p3 - p1, t2 = ex (ex . (p3 - p1)) */
t1 = vdiff(p3, p1);
i = dot(ex, t1);
t2 = vmul(ex, i);

/* ey = (t1 - t2), t = |t1 - t2| */
ey = vdiff(t1, t2);
t = vnorm(ey);
if (t > maxzero) {
/* ey = (t1 - t2) / |t1 - t2| */
ey = vdiv(ey, t);

/* j = ey . (p3 - p1) */
j = dot(ey, t1);
} else
j = 0.0;

/* Note: t <= maxzero implies j = 0.0. */
if (fabs(j) <= maxzero) {
/* p1, p2 and p3 are colinear. */

/* Is point p1 + (r1 along the axis) the intersection? */
t2 = vsum(p1, vmul(ex, r1));
if (fabs(vnorm(vdiff(p2, t2)) - r2) <= maxzero &&
fabs(vnorm(vdiff(p3, t2)) - r3) <= maxzero) {
/* Yes, t2 is the only intersection point. */
if (result1)
*result1 = t2;
if (result2)
*result2 = t2;
return 0;
}

/* Is point p1 - (r1 along the axis) the intersection? */
t2 = vsum(p1, vmul(ex, -r1));
if (fabs(vnorm(vdiff(p2, t2)) - r2) <= maxzero &&
fabs(vnorm(vdiff(p3, t2)) - r3) <= maxzero) {
/* Yes, t2 is the only intersection point. */
if (result1)
*result1 = t2;
if (result2)
*result2 = t2;
return 0;
}

return -2;
}

/* ez = ex x ey */
ez = cross(ex, ey);

x = (r1*r1 - r2*r2) / (2*h) + h / 2;
y = (r1*r1 - r3*r3 + i*i) / (2*j) + j / 2 - x * i / j;
z = r1*r1 - x*x - y*y;
if (z < -maxzero) {
/* The solution is invalid. */
return -3;
} else
if (z > 0.0)
z = sqrt(z);
else
z = 0.0;

/* t2 = p1 + x ex + y ey */
t2 = vsum(p1, vmul(ex, x));
t2 = vsum(t2, vmul(ey, y));

/* result1 = p1 + x ex + y ey + z ez */
if (result1)
*result1 = vsum(t2, vmul(ez, z));

/* result1 = p1 + x ex + y ey - z ez */
if (result2)
*result2 = vsum(t2, vmul(ez, -z));

return 0;
}

int main(void)
{
vec3d p1, p2, p3, o1, o2;
double r1, r2, r3;
int result;

while (fscanf(stdin, "%lg %lg %lg %lg %lg %lg %lg %lg %lg %lg %lg %lg",
&p1.x, &p1.y, &p1.z, &r1,
&p2.x, &p2.y, &p2.z, &r2,
&p3.x, &p3.y, &p3.z, &r3) == 12) {
printf("Sphere 1: %g %g %g, radius %g\n", p1.x, p1.y, p1.z, r1);
printf("Sphere 2: %g %g %g, radius %g\n", p2.x, p2.y, p2.z, r2);
printf("Sphere 3: %g %g %g, radius %g\n", p3.x, p3.y, p3.z, r3);
result = trilateration(&o1, &o2, p1, r1, p2, r2, p3, r3, MAXZERO);
if (result)
printf("No solution (%d).\n", result);
else {
printf("Solution 1: %g %g %g\n", o1.x, o1.y, o1.z);
printf(" Distance to sphere 1 is %g (radius %g)\n", vnorm(vdiff(o1, p1)), r1);
printf(" Distance to sphere 2 is %g (radius %g)\n", vnorm(vdiff(o1, p2)), r2);
printf(" Distance to sphere 3 is %g (radius %g)\n", vnorm(vdiff(o1, p3)), r3);
printf("Solution 2: %g %g %g\n", o2.x, o2.y, o2.z);
printf(" Distance to sphere 1 is %g (radius %g)\n", vnorm(vdiff(o2, p1)), r1);
printf(" Distance to sphere 2 is %g (radius %g)\n", vnorm(vdiff(o2, p2)), r2);
printf(" Distance to sphere 3 is %g (radius %g)\n", vnorm(vdiff(o2, p3)), r3);
}
}

return 0;
}

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3ATrilateration
Edited by Dick Applebaum - 2/2/14 at 1:30pm
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post #29 of 33

I welcome all this discussion on how iBeacon does and doesn't work, however, the NFL in their infinite (lack of) wisdom isn't installing iBeacon but something similar from Qualcomm. Yes, it's iOS-compatible because you have to download an app to allow iPhones to gain access.

 

Real iBeacons cost $35 when purchased in a 10-pack and I bet they'd give you a break if you bought 1000. https://roximity.com/buy-now/

 

Qualcomm's Gimbal Beacon is sold as-is with no warranty. Save a little in the short run and pay in the long run. https://manager.gimbal.com/beacon-warranty

post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

I welcome all this discussion on how iBeacon does and doesn't work, however, the NFL in their infinite (lack of) wisdom isn't installing iBeacon but something similar from Qualcomm. Yes, it's iOS-compatible because you have to download an app to allow iPhones to gain access.

Real iBeacons cost $35 when purchased in a 10-pack and I bet they'd give you a break if you bought 1000. https://roximity.com/buy-now/

Qualcomm's Gimbal Beacon is sold as-is with no warranty. Save a little in the short run and pay in the long run. https://manager.gimbal.com/beacon-warranty

You are correct... to a point!

Apple hasn't really defined the specs of an iBeacon -- just the iBeacon protocol for using one in iOS. This is probably on purpose.

I looked at the Gimbal specs and they are similar to other emerging hardware supporting iBeacons. I have hardware that support iBeacon Protocol from Estimote, StickNFind and TI.

From what I've read, it isn't clear which Gimbal devices the NFL is going to use...

But, according to the AI Article:
Quote:
"The power of this is it really is able to connect the real world, the brick-and-mortar world, with the virtual world with a level of granularity that hasn't existed before," Jha said. He added that the NFL will not connect personal and location data with the Super Bowl test, thereby protecting end-user privacy as the league figures out how to best leverage beacon tech.


Looks like they don't know how to do it using iBeacons (and BLE) only... as some of us have been saying 1biggrin.gif
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post #31 of 33

Clicking the thumbs up button just doens't feel like it's enough.  I'd like to thank Dick Applebaum for all the top shelf responses given in regards to iBeacons.  Truely informative and helpful stuff.

post #32 of 33
Game time...

See how many iBeacons you can locate...track!

Enjoy!

Go Borncos! Go Peyton!
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post #33 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

Clicking the thumbs up button just doens't feel like it's enough.  I'd like to thank Dick Applebaum for all the top shelf responses given in regards to iBeacons.  Truely informative and helpful stuff.

FWIW, I have been trying to figure out how to track a user with iBeacons since WWDC...

It is beyond my pay grade...
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