Apple will soon introduce a new product iBeacon, which allows the user to know the details in the room, such as services like the Global Positioning System (GPS) outdoors.
With iBeacon, an application can detect users of Apple products in the accuracy within a few centimeters. Thus, users can find an empty spot in the parking lot at the mall, or find the shortest queue hot dog in a crowded stadium. Visitors can also pay for restaurant meals and go straight without the help of a waiter. Connoisseurs of the museum can learn many things about the objects on display, just by walking nearby. In the near future, iBeacon could replace the function of a map and a list of stores in shopping malls.
Some companies, such as PayPal EBay Inc.-owned, has try with similar technology. However, support from Apple can bring this concept more known to the public. There are hundreds of millions of iPhones that can detect signals iBeacon. Apple also encourages developers more than one million app in the App Store for using this technology.
However, this technology is still very new and may not be used widely in the next few years. Alternatively, there may be other more popular innovations. In addition, privacy concerns may make many retailers are reluctant to adapt the detector location.
Apple also cautious in promoting iBeacon, because some users may worry tracked. Apple said iBeacon transmitter does not track users, because it only sends a signal and does not receive the information. Now, the technology is limited only used in some Apple stores and clubs stadium of Major League Baseball.
Apple is expected to announce more details about the show iBeacon, World Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco that begins Monday. Apple also will show a new version of mobile operating system iOS and Mac OSX software.
Here’s how the technology works. Transmitter or transmitters (beacons) sends a Bluetooth signal to the low-powered smartphones in the range of about 150 meters, depending on conditions. Applications that use the technology iBeacon able to respond to those signals, so the supermarket can send messages in the form of discount coupons detergent aisle when visitors are in the household, for example.
By understanding a user’s location, the app can guess what the user needs or what they will do next. It opens the door to the world “intelligence room“, a term in the technology industry to describe a room that felt the presence of someone and respond appropriately.
“This technology is potentially transformative,” said John Jackson, analyst at research firm IDC. “This may be the technology which underpins the future. Everything you want or need to know delivered to you in ways that smart. “
Privacy remains a problem. Apple said anxiety is unwarranted because the signals are transmitted in one direction and the transmitter does not know anything about the user. However, applications that use iBeacon may store personal data about users, including detailed location. “There are some privacy issues in this technology-people may not be aware of them provide some information if not handled properly,” said Michael Healander, general manager GISI Indoors, the company specialized geolocation technology.