location services

GE’s bright idea: Bytelight brings iBeacon tech to lighting

GE’s bright idea: Bytelight brings iBeacon tech to lighting

As the iBeacon platform starts to take shape, retailers will start to take notice of the promise it holds. Contextually aware beacons placed strategically throughout a store can push timely information to a smartphone, paving the way for increased sales and data gathering about how customers move through a store. Finding a place to put the beacons may be tough, but GE has a bright idea.

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Android Bluetooth disabled by iBeacon tech, requires reset [UPDATE]

Android Bluetooth disabled by iBeacon tech, requires reset [UPDATE]

Qualcomm’s Gimbal, which operate using iBeacon technology, has been found to give Android fits. While the actual iBeacon tech is iOS only, those with Android devices around Qualcomm’s Gimbal beacon hardware are being pinged to the point of device death. In the video below, you see a Gimbal trying to contact an Android device so much it actually kills Bluetooth, forcing a factory reset.

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Qualcomm spins off Gimbal Bluetooth beacon business

Qualcomm spins off Gimbal Bluetooth beacon business

Qualcomm has spun off Gimbal, its location-based services system compatible with Apple's iBeacon, into a standalone company, offering retailers, entertainment venues, and businesses proximity-sensing and geofencing. The independent Gimbal, Inc. will push what Qualcomm described as "the digital sixth sense", feeding personalized information to users iOS and Android devices based on where they are in stores or stadium.

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Big surprise: Facebook will eventually push ads with “Nearby Friends”

Big surprise: Facebook will eventually push ads with “Nearby Friends”

Facebook plans to eventually use its new "Nearby Friends" feature to power new location-based adverts and marketing, the social network has conceded, potentially souring what was generally seen as a privacy-mindful launch of the functionality. Nearby Friends began rolling out last week as a new addition to Facebook's mobile apps, optionally showing those on your friendslist your location, and making it easier to organize impromptu meet-ups. However, Facebook has more in mind than promoting socializing.

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Facebook Nearby Friends tentatively tracks friendslist

Facebook Nearby Friends tentatively tracks friendslist

Facebook has added a new feature to its mobile apps, Nearby Friends, allowing users of the social network to find those on their friendslist when they're nearby, though Facebook is clearly wary of a privacy backlash. The feature, which will be rolled out to the Android and iOS apps over the coming weeks, shows your GPS position and that of your friends on a map; however, Facebook is turning it off by default, and relying on users to opt-in instead.

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Apple outs iBeacon specs (and they’re Android-agnostic)

Apple outs iBeacon specs (and they’re Android-agnostic)

Apple has detailed its specifications for iBeacon, its Bluetooth LE indoor location-based services platform, though exact details of the system are still locked down by the Cupertino firm's demands for secrecy. The specifications have been released under NDA, BEEKn reports, though according to information from those familiar with them predominantly concern how iBeacon devices will be branded, not how they are technically different from other Bluetooth LE transmitters.

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Broadcom location chip promises longer wearables and true-AR

Broadcom location chip promises longer wearables and true-AR

Location-based services and contextual augmented-reality on your smartglasses is fun, but not if they drain power so fast you only get a couple of hours of use from them. Broadcom believes it has the answer with its new BCM4771 GNSS SoC, a super-low-power chip to add location and health tracking to wearables while cutting battery consumption by 75-percent compared to existing positioning chips. It's a system that not only should make fitness trackers and smartwatches run for longer, but open the door to true augmented-reality headsets.

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