Apple's iBeacon tech to be highlighted in CES scavenger hunt

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
The Consumer Electronics Association on Thursday announced it will be holding a special iBeacon-based scavenger hunt during the 2014 International CES expo, introducing attendees and exhibitors to Apple's new location-aware technology.

iBeacon


With the scavenger hunt, CEA is encouraging attendees to roam around and explore CES rather than congregate at booths erected by big-name companies. Powering the immersive game will be iBeacon hardware developed by mobile proximity services firm Radius Networks, which uses low-energy Bluetooth technology from Texas Instruments.

"This promotional scavenger hunt demonstrates our commitment to leveraging the latest in emerging technologies, making CES the most interactive and engaging technology event of the year," said CEA's senior vice president of communications and strategic relationships Jeff Joseph. "This promotion is a fun and novel way to introduce attendees to iBeacon technology and encourage participants to visit important exhibits across the show floor."

The hunt will also be one of the first commercial iBeacon implementations to include Android devices, as the official CES app is available in both the iOS App Store and Google Play. Those who wish to participate can download the free app, which provides further details and instructions. The first three verified players to collect all iBeacon badges will be awarded a "special prize," while a limited number of runner-up gifts will be available throughout the week.

Briefly mentioned during the opening keynote to Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June, iBeacon technology was first introduced as a new feature in iOS 7.

Using the Bluetooth 4.0, or Bluetooth Low Energy, protocol, iBeacon is an intelligent micro-location platform that can be deployed in a variety of environments to aid in navigation and interactive geofencing. Low-energy transmitters facilitate two-way communication with supported mobile devices that come within 100 feet, allowing for accurate indoor navigation, automated retail services and customers statistics aggregation, among other functions.

In December, Apple started using iBeacon tech in its U.S. brick-and-mortar stores, offering users information on products and pricing while collecting data on customer movement and browsing patterns. AppleInsider was able to take a first-hand look at the Apple Store rollout, finding the technology somewhat limited in its current iteration, but full of potential.

Aside from Apple, other businesses are testing out iBeacon's capabilities, including pilot programs from Macy's and Major League Baseball.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member

    Nice.

  • Reply 2 of 11
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    You can't run these kind of competitions with tech geeks. Someone will just build a really awesome antenna that can find all the beacons at once without having to roam around.
  • Reply 3 of 11
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ascii View Post



    You can't run these kind of competitions with tech geeks. Someone will just build a really awesome antenna that can find all the beacons at once without having to roam around.



    But unless they can build it with in a few moments of CES turning the iBeacons on I don't see how they'd be able to do it before somebody finds all of them.

  • Reply 4 of 11
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    ascii wrote: »
    You can't run these kind of competitions with tech geeks. Someone will just build a really awesome antenna that can find all the beacons at once without having to roam around.

    Is that possible with Low-Energy BT? What about 3 or more people installing an iOS app that will triangulate the locations or perhaps have hits record various GPS locations with signal strengths so a centralized server could plot likely locations as they peruse booths (assuming the iBeacons will be turned on at random times after the event has started).
  • Reply 5 of 11
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post

     



    But unless they can build it with in a few moments of CES turning the iBeacons on I don't see how they'd be able to do it before somebody finds all of them.


     

    I was assuming the CES app would record if it found itself in range of a given iBeacon, and once it recorded all of them it would declare you a winner. 

     

    With a powerful enough antenna hooked up to your BT, it would find itself in range of all the iBeacons at once and you would win the competition instantaneously. And you could build the antenna beforehand because Bluetooth LE is an open spec. But I'm sure there are other geeks out there who could think up an even better way.

  • Reply 6 of 11
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    Is that possible with Low-Energy BT? What about 3 or more people installing an iOS app that will triangulate the locations or perhaps have hits record various GPS locations with signal strengths so a centralized server could plot likely locations as they peruse booths (assuming the iBeacons will be turned on at random rimes after the event has started).

    Yes, if Bluetooth LE really is limited to a short distance (they say that, but I think it would depend on how high up you were and how good your antenna is) then triangulation would be another way. Thanks for proving my point that tech geeks will win this competition in innovative ways.

  • Reply 7 of 11
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    The hunt will also be one of the first commercial iBeacon implementations to include Android devices, as the official CES app is available in both the iOS App Store and Google Play.

     

    Boom.  NFC is officially dead.

  • Reply 8 of 11
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ascii View Post



    You can't run these kind of competitions with tech geeks. Someone will just build a really awesome antenna that can find all the beacons at once without having to roam around.

    Simple, low tech solution. You need a physical artifact from each booth to win. So, sure, you can find all of them, but you still have to go to all of them to get the artifact.

  • Reply 9 of 11
    As usual.... Apple won't officially be attending CES...

    But Apple will be there.

    :D
  • Reply 10 of 11
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,976member
    sockrolid wrote: »
    Boom.  NFC is officially dead.

    Then why does Apple bother getting patents for NFC related technology?


    http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/157836/apple-awarded-patent-for-nfc-based-cross-platform-data-transfer-solution
  • Reply 11 of 11
    There are other companies like isign media that already use bluetooth and wifi to send messages and offers but without the app. Since I know I never use half of the apps I download this might be an easier way for businesses to target their mobile customers.
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