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TI brings Apple's iBeacon to Bluetooth products for industrial, automotive & embedded applications

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Silicon firm Texas Instruments on Wednesday announced plans to support Apple's iBeacon microlocation technology across a large swath of TI's Bluetooth product line, including chips for embedded and automotive applications.

TI's SensorTag development kit
TI's SensorTag development kit


"Restaurants, retailers and even sports stadiums have started using iBeacon technology, but there are many more applications that could benefit from the technology. Everything from asset trackers, retail, building automation systems, automotive and industrial applications, and a wide variety of consumer electronics," TI wireless connectivity executive Oyvind Birkenes said in a press release.

TI will bring iBeacons to the company's SimpleLink CC2541, CC2543, and CC2564 microcontrollers alongside the BL6450Q controller designed for automotive applications. iBeacons will also make their way into TI's WiLink series of integrated WiFi and Bluetooth packages, including the WiLink 8Q which enables advanced connectivity in vehicles and adds support for GPS and GLONASS signals.

"By providing support for iBeacon technology across our entire Bluetooth low energy portfolio as well as a new SimpleLink SensorTag location app and broadcaster reference design, we are enabling manufacturers to quickly add micro-locationing capabilities to their products," he added.

The SensorTag app, a companion for TI's $25 iBeacon development kit of the same name, allows developers to virtually "place" SensorTags within a digital floorplan. The app provides ranging feedback and will launch a customized URL based on its proximity to specific SensorTags.

TI also unveiled a new reference design for a broadcast-only iBeacon system, based on the CC2543, which the company says is coin cell-sized, uses minimal power, and can be manufactured quickly for a low cost.
post #2 of 7
This is a big affirmation of Apple iBeacon tech!
Edited by Dick Applebaum - 4/16/14 at 7:45am
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post #3 of 7

This is very good for TI; these devices are going to be ubiquitous.

 

Next thing will be integrated sensors and actuator interface for the home automation market.

post #4 of 7

There must is a reason behind all this.

TI customers are demanding iBeacon everywhere.

Time will tell.

post #5 of 7

This sounds good for Apple (and AAPL), which I'm happy to hear -- as long as it can be absolutely 100% turned off.

 

I don't want any stores or any company, including Apple, to be able to track my location in real time.  It's bad enough that the cell companies do this (with all phones, smart or dumb), but it's not possible to have any kind of voice or data connection otherwise. 

 

It doesn't matter whether the IDs are "anonymous" or not, it's far too easy to un-anonymize any kind of ID via various other means.  You may stay anonymous if you're very careful, until you use it one time for something tied to your real-world person.  Like something as simple as paying for something at a cash register with a credit or debit card. Oops.

 

Again, no problem, as long as it can be 100% disabled, permanently.

No Matte == No Sale :-(
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No Matte == No Sale :-(
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post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

This sounds good for Apple (and AAPL), which I'm happy to hear -- as long as it can be absolutely 100% turned off.

I don't want any stores or any company, including Apple, to be able to track my location in real time.  It's bad enough that the cell companies do this (with all phones, smart or dumb), but it's not possible to have any kind of voice or data connection otherwise. 

It doesn't matter whether the IDs are "anonymous" or not, it's far too easy to un-anonymize any kind of ID via various other means.  You may stay anonymous if you're very careful, until you use it one time for something tied to your real-world person.  Like something as simple as paying for something at a cash register with a credit or debit card. Oops.

Again, no problem, as long as it can be 100% disabled, permanently.

You can turn Bluetooth off.

But, if you are concerned about tracking, you should also turn off your:
  • WiFi
  • GPS radio
  • Cell radio

I can't remember where I read the article (arstechnica???), but, for example: every time your phone detects a nearby WiFi tower (used to assist GPS) -- the tower also detects your phone's unique WiFi ID. Same principle for the cell towers.

So the WiFi system and the cell system can detect where you are and track where you've been (and when).

If I can find a link, I'll post an update.
"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
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"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
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post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

You can turn Bluetooth off.

But, if you are concerned about tracking, you should also turn off your:

  • WiFi

  • GPS radio

  • Cell radio


I can't remember where I read the article (arstechnica???), but, for example: every time your phone detects a nearby WiFi tower (used to assist GPS) -- the tower also detects your phone's unique WiFi ID. Same principle for the cell towers.

So the WiFi system and the cell system can detect where you are and track where you've been (and when).

If I can find a link, I'll post an update.


Yes, I understand these other tracking methods, and yes, I disable all location functionality (to the degree possible, cell tower triangulation always exists even on older phones, by necessity). I do not use GPS on any device, ever, and on my "smart mobile" devices I do not use the cell radio, ever. It's wifi-only. And wifi is only enabled when necessary, so it's not constantly pinging WAPs everywhere. These are simple, if not always convenient ways to use "mobile tracking devices", while maintaining at least a small semblance of privacy.

Yes, it's not as convenient as becoming part of the Borg with constant connectivity and constant tracking, but it's easily a worthwhile trade in my opinion.
No Matte == No Sale :-(
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No Matte == No Sale :-(
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