iBeacon is a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) communication technology that enables mobile apps to capture signals from beacons in the physical world and react to them. It allows mobile apps to gauge their position on a micro-scale and deliver hyper-contextual content to users based on their location. We take a look at how these two Internet of Thing (IoT) endeavours by Apple will work together to make our lives simpler.
iBeacon on HomeKit:Currently, iBeacon has been largely marketed by Apple for the retail environment. With HomeKit, the home-grown BLE technology by Apple will be accessible to a larger customer base that is setting up a smart home. At its most basic level, the iBeacon will inform Apple’s smart home of the user’s presence when they come home and all systems will turn on as per pre-set conditions to welcome them and ready to use.
Using iBeacon in Smart Home Devices:iBEacon can be used to define actions for the smart appliances such as lighting, ventilators, heating/cooling systems, television etc. among other things. With Siri integration, simple voice commands and spoken reminders will automate the systems and activate appliances. Different apps such as the Calendar app and Notes app can also be used to work in tandem with Home Kit and iBeacon to give commands to the various smart appliances in the house.HomeKit currently offers native support with iBeacon to control lighting in the house, there is a lot more that can be done if the imagination is stretched. For instance, a Beacon placed in the key will help your smartphone to track they key when it is misplaced within the house. Also, when the key is inserted in the lock, the variously programmed lights will be switched on as soon as one enters the house.
Apple iBeacon for the House:In 2014, Apple submitted a proposal for creating the first dedicated iBeacon – compatible beacon hardware for its Smart Home product. Apple iBeacon will turn the iPhone, iPad or other compatible iOS device into a temporarily discoverable beacon. Thus, used with HomeKit, the user will be able to control locks, lights, doors, security cameras, switches, plugs, kitchen appliances and much more. Apple will not be supplying the hardware for iBeacon as many third party hardware beacon devices are already available. Apple iBeacon will act more as a centralized control hub that can be triggered from the iPhone or iWatch.
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