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Trending the Future: Apple iBeacon

At space150, we work at the intersection of physical and digital; connecting the touchpoints of a brand's experience, from its physical presence to online channels. A popular technology in this space right now is Apple's iBeacon. As we've started several iBeacon projects with our partners and potential partners, we’ve done our research, created a simple way to think about iBeacon, and wanted to share it.

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Trending the Future: Apple iBeacon

  1. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013 presented by Marc Jensen
 April 2014 Trending the Future: Apple iBeacon
  2. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2014 Who is this guy?
  3. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013 I’m Chief Technology Officer + Managing Partner at space150
  4. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013 We use technology to create amazing experiences that connect people to brands
  5. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013 Our mission is awesome: Destroy Convention to Create Demand (see more at
  6. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2014 Okay, let’s talk iBeacon
  7. What is iBeacon?
  8. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013 iBeacon is a new technology created by Apple to enhance location services for mobile devices. image source: Apple
  9. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013 iBeacon was created to enable your phone to do things when you’re close to a specific location image source: Apple
  10. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013 iBeacon was created to enable your phone to do things when you’re close to a specific location like alert you when you’re in front of this Apple Store image source: Apple
  11. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013 So, why did Apple create iBeacon?
  12. Shopping habits and consumer expectations are changing quickly
  13. Shopping isn’t what it used to be sources: New York Times, Business Insider, USA Today
  14. Retail foot traffic is down Foot traffic is down 50% in three years from 2010 to 2013. ! Online commerce is having a large and permanent impact on the traditional retail environment. ! ! ! ! ! ! source: Wall Street Journal
  15. E-commerce continues to grow Digital sales are growing at the expense of offline sales. ! “growth is coming from existing online shoppers who are spending more time and money - and in a wider variety of categories - online” ! ! ! ! ! source: Mashabl
  16. Change brings opportunity In all this change, there are bright spots. While traditional malls struggle, the Mall of America is set to double in size, as they focus on the destination and the experience. ! Omnichannel retail serves the wants of consumers that expect a brand to be present across all physical and digital channels. sources: Fortune / CNN Money, Forbes
  17. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013 iBeacon was created to connect physical to digital image source: Apple
  18. Let’s take a closer look at iBeacon and Location Services
  19. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013 iBeacon was announced and released as part of iOS 7 image source: Apple
  20. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013 The primary goal of iBeacon is to enhance location services image source: Apple
  21. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013 You may ask: “Isn’t my phone great at determining my current location?” image source: Google
  22. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013 Yes and no, depending on what you’re trying to do
  23. Location Accuracy We have incredible maps and services on our phones, but they’re limited by the existing technology they’re built on. ! When I took this screenshot, I was actually in the building across the street, on the second floor. image source: Apple
  24. Precision It’s not Foursquare’s fault, but they just don’t know exactly where i’m at. ! I’m in the space150 Minneapolis office, and it shows “90 ft away”. ! Current technology is great for finding a building, but problematic after that. image source: Foursquare
  25. Location Tech The accuracy of this is about 30ft (10m), much worse in buildings and urban areas. ! This location is determined by a combination of GPS, Wi-Fi and Cell Triangulation. image source: Google
  26. Let’s look at a real world example
  27. Apple Store App Apple has rolled out iBeacon to all of it’s 250+ US stores. ! If you have the latest Apple Store app installed, you can experience this yourself by going to a physical Apple Store. ! image source: Apple
  28. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013 When you’re close to an Apple store, you’ll see a push notification that serves two main purposes: ! Bring the proximity of the store to your attention Show you what’s possible with the combination of the mobile app and the physical store image sources: Apple
  29. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013 mobile payments genius appointments events + workshops image sources: Apple
  30. Specific Location Once you’re in the store, specific areas will trigger notifications: specials, new products, or anything else they’d like to highlight about the area you’re in. image sources: Apple
  31. Digital Payment You can easily pay for products using your iTunes account and existing payment information. ! This is a powerful way for Apple to leverage existing digital payment methods. image source: Apple
  32. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013 Apple is using iBeacon to connect physical to digital, streamlining the existing in-store experience image source: Apple
  33. What are the important details of iBeacon?
  34. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013image source: Icomoon iBeacon aims to improve location- based services through proximity.
  35. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013image source: Icomoon Proximity and location are different, and the difference is key
  36. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013 Mobile location is represented as a point and a radius of accuracy image source: Google
  37. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013image source: Icomoon Proximity is knowing that you’re close to a specific physical location
  38. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013 Example: I’m in front of this coffee shop image source: Colonial Warehouse
  39. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013 Example: I’m at this display image source: Martin Patrick 3
  40. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013 iBeacon is not strictly limited to Apple devices image source: Estimote
  41. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013 this is an Estimote Beacon image source: Estimote iBeacon is not strictly limited to Apple devices
  42. How does iBeacon work?
  43. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013 iBeacon is built on Bluetooth, the common wireless technology image source: Bluetooth SIG
  44. Bluetooth Low Energy iBeacon is built using Bluetooth Low Energy, part of the latest version of Bluetooth hardware (version 4.0) ! BLE is intended to use very little power, and has a realistic range of about 150 to 200 feet. image source: Bluetooth SIG
  45. Basic Example You need a transmitter and a receiver. When a receiver detects a transmitter nearby, you can trigger an event. ! The transmitter is a beacon, and it’s continuously transmitting a signal. ! The receiver is an app on your phone that is looking for a beacon.transmitter (“beacon”) receiver (iPhone app) image source: Icomoon
  46. Proximity to a location far beacon receiver phone near beacon immediate beacon With iBeacon, you can initiate actions that are appropriate for being in the “immediate vicinity,” “near,” or “far” from the beacon. These distances are not fixed, but are thresholds. Your specific needs, environment and hardware will determine this. image source: Icomoon
  47. Multiple Beacons You can use multiple beacons in a single environment to trigger location specific events. ! When an event is triggered, you can be confident about the proximity to the location. ! In this example, beacons are at the entrance, in a department, and at the checkout counter, each can trigger appropriate events. entrance checkout department image source: Icomoon
  48. App Required iBeacon is opt-in. Users must have an app installed. ! iBeacon functionality can easily be integrated into existing apps. image sources: Apple
  49. Beacons Beacons are designed to be small, use little power, and last for a long time on small button batteries. ! On the left is an Estimote beacon, they’re compatible with iBeacon, are $99 for 3, and last 1-2 years on the built-in battery.
  50. Exposed They’re simple inside - it’s basic bluetooth hardware and a battery. The actual devices themselves are built from simple components.
  51. Who is using iBeacon, and what are some uses for them?
  52. Retail + Grocery Safeway and Giant Eagle grocery are partnering with InMarket to roll out iBeacon to 200 stores. image source: Techcrunch
  53. Retail + Fashion Shopkick plans to bring iBeacon to 100 American Eagle stores. image source: Techcrunch
  54. Sports + Entertainment Major League Baseball is bringing iBeacon technology to more than 20 ballparks for opening day of the season 2014. image source: Major League Baseball
  55. Sports + Entertainment The NBA and the Golden State Warriors are using iBeacon to target iPhone users. When guests arrive at the top of the escalators for the “nosebleed” seats, they’re immediately presented with an offer to upgrade their seat. image source: Apple Insider
  56. Automatic Automatic is a bluetooth device that connects to your car to monitor and improve your driving (it’s like Fitbit for your car). ! Automatic updated their device to operate as a beacon, opening the possibility for automatic payments (toll booths, etc). image source: Automatic
  57. Enhanced, more automated service Many apps benefit from location information. As an app creator, think about how this technology could benefit your app. ! It used to be that you could determine that an app user was near your building - now we can know that a guest is in your store, or at a specific location image sources: Google, Icomoon
  58. Hospitality Restaurants that offer ordering and pickup could improve the experience by notifying guest services automatically when customers actually arrive, streamlining the pickup experience. image sources: Chipotle, Panera
  59. Starbucks Starbucks will be adding the ability to pre-order your coffee for pickup. ! iBeacon would be the perfect technology to let the staff know a customer really has arrived and is in the store, and can also help initiate mobile payments, further simplifying that process. image sources: Engadget, Starbucks
  60. Any competition? Yes.
  61. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013 Apple first saw the potential of this tech, and created iBeacon. Other companies are creating alternatives. image source: Qualcomm
  62. Android Support Radius Networks is creating iBeacon hardware and software that allows Android to leverage very similar functionality. ! The same exact hardware can be used for Apple iBeacon and custom Android (and other) platforms, simultaneously. image source: Qualcomm
  63. Qualcomm Qualcomm launched it’s own version called Gimbal. The devices can be configured to work with Apple’s iBeacon, it’s own system, or work in other custom scenarios, across iOS and Android platforms. image source: Qualcomm
  64. Hospitality Starwood is extending their existing mobile apps to allow hotel guests to open their room doors with Bluetooth powered phones and apps. ! They’re testing in two locations now, and plan to support iOS and Android devices. image source: CNN
  65. Paypal Beacon Paypal is launching the Paypal Beacon. ! Using the same Bluetooth Low Energy technology, they’re building a custom version specific to their needs, to speed checkout at physical stores that accept PayPal. The proximity of beacons can help improve security and simplify the user experience. image source: Paypal
  66. Let’s Summarize
  67. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013image source: Apple iBeacon is a technology created by Apple that brings proximity awareness to mobile devices
  68. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013image source: Bluetooth SIG iBeacon is built on standard Bluetooth technology
  69. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013 Competing and custom alternatives are emerging image credit: Qualcomm
  70. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013sources: Gigaom, Accenture, Washington Post, MITSloan Consumers increasingly expect seamless digital to physical experiences
  71. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013 Physical and digital are no longer separate: it’s one big experience image sources: Apple
  72. Confidential and Proprietary space150 ©2013 The concept is simple, but the details are very important image source: Icomoon
  73. Reach out, we’d love to talk details ! Marc Jensen, Chief Technology Office + Managing Partner space150 Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles !