Foursquare 8.0 has been released, and the geo-recommendations app now promises to learn from you and tailor its suggestions accordingly. The new app builds on Foursquare's decision several months back to break off its traditional check-ins to Swarm and converting the eponymous app into a recommendations engine, one that today promises to be a whole lot smarter.
You've probably heard of WiFi Direct, which lets devices connect to each other via WiFi when and where they need to, without the need for a wireless access point like a router. Now Qualcomm is rooting for something similar yet something new. LTE Direct is basically the same except that, as the name would imply, it leverages an LTE network instead. And it's ultimate purpose: to make sure your mobile devices receive location-relevant promotions and information without draining your battery.
An FCC filing was recently discovered, and it’s got Apple written all over it — literally. Their application for iBeacon hardware has many scratching their head, wondering why Apple would jump into a hardware sector meant for more back-end utility. The device being powered by a USB connection is even more confusing.
China's state-run broadcaster has called the iPhone a "national security concern" because of its location tracking features, basically the same GPS-based features you can find on any modern smartphone and mobile platform. Apple has now released a statement via it's China office claiming that it does not participate nor does it condone any act of spying using its products. However, the Chinese government might have been looking not for an explanation but for a scapegoat instead.
A court has ruled obtaining information on the location data in your device without a warrant violates the fourth amendment of the Constitution. In a robbery trial in Florida, part of the evidence against the convicted was his cell phone location data. Noting he made calls around the time and place the robberies occurred, the state could effectively place him at the scene.
Social apps like Swarm want to be more contextual, attempting to know where you’re at and who you might know nearby. By tracking your location, the aim is to get you communicating with friends, even hanging out if you can. A new report suggests Google is doing the same, building it straight into Android in an upcoming Play Services release. Dubbed “Nearby”, the goal is to let devices communicate without you having to do a thing.
When we think of beacon technology, the upside is huge. Placed strategically throughout a building or other facility, beacons can push important information to your phone at the right time. Project Boundary, a new endeavor spearheaded by The Department of Health and Human Services, aims to improve your wellness in the workplace.
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.
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.