What is an iBeacon App? How Does the Beacon Technology Work?

Posted by Alka Singh · February 3, 2020 · 6 Min read

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The iBeacon App opened a new world of possibilities for businesses to interact with their customers. 

Businesses are continuously competing for customer attention. Collecting feedback from users on multiple channels and improving products, services, and marketing to stand out from your competition doesn’t help until customers feel that a brand stands out from the rest. 

Companies from every niche are constantly on a lookout for opportunities that can be turned into an innovative and seamless digital experience for users. 

Apple had foreseen this long ago and in an attempt to use this opportunity, the company introduced iBeacon technology.  

The iBeacon technology enables businesses in providing their customers with location-based information and helped them enhance customer experience by keeping them connected and engaged at all times. 


What is iBeacon?

iBeacon is Apple’s technology standard that works on Bluetooth low-energy wireless. It allows the ibeacon app installed on a mobile phone to interact with the beacons installed in the vicinity. Beacons release signals on BLE standard that iBeacon apps receive and react accordingly. 

What is an iBeacon App?

iBeacon apps are mobile applications designed for smartphones. Without an iBeacon app, it is not possible for a smartphone to scan the BLE signals released by installed beacons in the surrounding. 

The app needs beacons and vice-versa to deliver relevant information at the right time and place.  

How Does iBeacon work?

Beacon is a small bluetooth based transmitter which releases BLE signals that are received and decoded by the ibeacon apps installed on a smartphone. Businesses can find innumerable use cases to share relevant information with their customers using this technology. 

For instance: A retailer can install a beacon in their brick and mortar store to inform the customers passing by the store or in the surrounding area about the latest discounts on offer. Whenever a customer is in the store or in range, the beacon will interact with the retailer’s app installed on the customer’s mobile device and will display a personalized message/offer/discount or simply a greeting notification. 

Therefore, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that beacon technology is a much better option for in-door mapping – that GPS struggles with.     

Few Real World iBeacon examples

iBeacon has come a long way since its launch in 2013. iBeacon apps have proved their worth in different domains for having outstanding features, ease of use and interactivity. 

Let’s have a look at the top three real-world ibeacon apps: 

1. BeHere App

BeHere is developed by a small team of developers in Brazil. The team added a new angle to iBeacon technology. The app is used to mark classroom attendance. 

BeHere app installed on teacher’s iPad receives the signal from the beacons installed in the classroom whenever a student enters the classroom with his/her smartphone and automatically marks his/her attendance. 

One of the interesting features of the app is that it lets students ask for teacher’s help. All they need to do is press a button on their phone which is then received by the teacher and he/she responds to them as needed.  

2. At the BallPark App

This app represents the perfect example of in-door mapping with amazing features. If a user downloads the app on his mobile on the way to Stadium, it automatically identifies the stadium he/she is enroute to and immediately starts engaging the user with information specific to the stadium and the upcoming events. 

On top of it, it guides the user right from displaying the barcode of his/her ticket to directing him to his seat with a map while highlighting the nearby interests.

The app also collects users data and rewards them with special coupons and discounts for their frequent visits. 

3. Crowd Compass Beacons

Crowd Compass is transforming event planning and participation. The app allows event planners to manage the beacons on-site to communicate more effectively with attendees. 

Since the attendees also have apps installed, it is possible to send them important and relevant notifications during the event. 

The app helps share information instantly and also receives user inputs in real-time while maintaining privacy and security of user data. 

The application comes with several useful and breakthrough features such as live polling, Q&A and surveys, and many more that keeps the audience engaged.   

But Why BLE When We Already Have Regular Bluetooth?

1. Power Consumption: Bluetooth Low Energy or BLE requires low energy. As claimed by apple, it can last up to 3 years on a single coin cell battery.

2. Lower Cost: BLE helps save upto 60-80% cost than regular bluetooth.

3. Application: Bluetooth low energy apps are ideal where small periodic transfers of data is required. Regular bluetooth are considered best for more complex apps that require consistent communication and more data throughout.   

How Does BLE Communication Work?

BLE communication is ideally used to transmit small packets of data such as advertisement. Beacon or other BLE enabled devices use radio waves and broadcast data at regular intervals.   

BLE advertisement is a one-way communication method. That’s why iBeacon apps are required to receive the advertisements and perform further actions. More frequent broadcasting of advertisements consumes more battery life but also enables for quicker discovery by iBeacon apps. 

A standard BLE supports broadcasting to up to 100 meters that makes Beacons ideal for indoor location advertising and awareness. 

Should You Need iBeacon App? 

iBeacon brings about a paradigm shift in the way brands communicate with consumers. iBeacon apps are a digital extension to many niches especially those where millions of visitors pay a visit such as airports, malls, subways, buses, taxis, sporting arenas, gyms, hotels, hospitals, music festivals, cinemas and museums, and even on billboards.

By integrating the technology in the existing set-up enables businesses to understand exactly where a customer is in the brick and mortar store. This is a great opportunity for businesses to send customers highly contextual, hyper-local, meaningful messages and advertisements on their smartphones and engage them instantly. 

Whether you or your business comes under such niches or not, the potential of iBeacon and application development for beacon-based marketing and advertising is immense. 

Once you are sure about iBeacon apps use-cases in your industry or business, you must hire dedicated ibeacon app developers and start leveraging location-based engagement with your target users. You can consult more use-cases with our consultants. Drop us an email at salesteam@ongraph.com. We will get back to you instantly. 

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