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iBeacon and Bluetooth Low Energy

After its released on 2013, some people still questioning of what is iBeacon and how does it work? Although some have already use that and installed the app, They are still wondering what is the technology behind iBeacon? iBeacon is a tiny device that is using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE mostly said Bluetooth version 4 or Bluetooth Smart). It will transmit signal in its range and when smartphone that is supported with Bluetooth version 4 catches the signal, iBeacon will transfer data or notification to the smartphone. It only requires Bluetooth signal.

A few months after Apple closed the door on wi-fi tracking, the organization overseeing Bluetooth low energy, the technology behind beacons, has done the same. This morning, Bluetooth Special Interest Group ratified the newest iteration of the wireless communication standard that will, among other things, hide the media access control (MAC) address that can be used to identify and track user movements.

According to a report from GigaOm, the ability to hide the MAC address will remain optional in the newest versions of the standard, Bluetooth 4.2. A device that needs to broadcast its identity for technical purposes can still use the identifier, but experts say the industry has already moved to less-permanent, softer, identifiers that a provider can easily delete.

“It’s an important change for the industry because it will help get people a lot more comfortable with keeping bluetooth on,” said Maya Mikhailov, executive vice president at GPShopper, a retail-focused mobile development shop. “It was originally designed to be a broadcast technology, and it should be used like that — not as a read technology.”

“The big misconception in New York was that people thought a beacon would track their device as they walked past, and that’s completely not the case. “Beacons interact with apps, so a person would need to have an beacon-enabled app installed”

The other major change in the new bluetooth protocol is speed. The group that controls the standard said that the newest iteration will allow devices to transmit data up to 2.5 times faster than the previous version. That’s a critically important upgrade for marketers, says Mikhailov.

“Even the massive change in speed from Bluetooth 1.0 to Bluetooth 4.0 made it commercially usable, and useful for marketing purposes. … If there’s fast speed and faster interaction with the devices that’s just going to benefit marketers with all sorts of programming they can do.”

About Girly Saputri

Girly is a Content Marketing at Eyro Digital Teknologi, Ltd. She is also a copy writer and likes cheeseburger. She writes about iBeacon and its implementation. You can find her on LinkedIn as GirlySaputri.

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