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iBeacon Micro-Location Tech Spreading Fast
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Re: Limited usefulness?
  • 4/25/2014 12:18:22 PM
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Greetings Michael I think you've missed the significance of iBeacons..or even beacons. In the Australian context, hence Garry Barkers comments, we have skipped RFID and NFC technologies and overwhelmingly adopted iPads. Especially in education. The CSS which is causing so much concern in the US was adopted in Australia over five years ago, in Victoria 15 years ago...we often have learning commons, where 30-50 or 100 students are working..a location or proximity notification or time based(change the ping from the teacher MBP/iPhone/iPad beacon) will be embraced in a few months. We have a huge proportion of innovators and early adopters, we have less testing...we have NO armed guards in any school anywhere in the country..we often have security guards at Jewish schools though... Be here solves a problem we do not have...it is a headline rent seeker and it achieved its purpose with the IT reporters...search on #ibeacon #education to see what is already happening in Australian schools..the first five hits are all Australian examples...tracking is not an issue. We have CCTV in most areas of the school anyway...iBeacon will be used for..visitors accessing the school wifi, visitors getting a map of the school, late comers will signin with their iPad as they enter the gate..instead of wasting time going to reception to signin before going to class extra 15minutes later!!going on excursions using an ad hoc BLE network and teacher MBP casual network...no wifi or internet needed! All at very little cost. Recall every iPhone, iPad and MBP is a send and receiver of BLE.. Btw we have had notebooks for teachers in Victoria since 1997, this year 47,000 of them..about a third of them MBP, with the proportion increasing with every replacement round(3years) As for tracking...50metres?!..a waste of time...close personal supervision is needed for these children with someone to talk to them, rather than alienate them further by creating a 'big brother'...we know how those movies end!!! Why bother introducing known to fail approaches?

Re: Limited usefulness?
  • 4/7/2014 8:38:14 AM
NO RATINGS

Just about any large social gathering would be a good place to try ibeacon.  Concerts, malls, parades, etc could all benefit if the people attending could get some bonus footage, traffic alerts, or event notifications.  It wouldn't need to be personal either just being location specific would be good enough to be beneficial.

Re: Limited usefulness?
  • 4/6/2014 6:55:20 PM
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I could see the BeHere app being used at private schools, but not every parent, whether they can afford it or not, will want their child to have a smartphone. 

Regarding the privacy of iBeacon, it has been shown over and over that hackers can turn on features and manipulate devices whether it be a phone, car or heartpacer.  Also, if parents have kids with them while shopping and they have smartphones, will parents want those kids being monitored?  

I'm sure there will be an Android option soon.  However, I would want it be something I had to sign up for.  I only want the stores I'm interested in using it. 

Re: Limited usefulness?
  • 4/6/2014 6:26:13 PM
NO RATINGS

It would seem the beacon would be a good gimmick for large events like sports for example, but only working on Apple phones would certainly be a drawback. Whether a good number of customer would elect ot use the system is another question. But since it would be rather inexpensive to implement it should be worth a try to see how popular or what kind of sales might result from promotions.

Re: Limited usefulness?
  • 4/4/2014 8:40:50 AM
NO RATINGS

Hah! Whatever would you do without your iPhone, even for short of a period as a chem lecture? That could be a big price to pay for today's always-connected student!

Re: Limited usefulness?
  • 4/4/2014 8:25:04 AM
NO RATINGS

I'd bet that there have been at least a dozen plans that have gone through congress to do just that.  I remember reading an article that came out against assigning social security numbers to everyone in the US because it was a way for the government to track citizens.  I've been hearing about microchip implants for at least a decade now but I think there would be enough backlash with regard to implanting something under the skin that it will have a hard time getting passed.  Tracking a device that we willingly carry makes much more sense and it gives those of us who would like to be left alone the option of turning it off every now and then.

Options
  • 4/3/2014 1:18:46 PM
NO RATINGS

It seems that this just uses bluetooth. There are technologies out these that use bluetooth along with wifi and even cellular signals. They can be far more accurate. In addition, most use the devices MAC address to track location by device, rather than individual. This should not cause privacy concerns. It is the same as being observed without knowing who you are. The idea of Opt-in for tracking by individual ( and for benefots) makes sense.

Re: Limited usefulness?
  • 4/3/2014 12:13:37 PM
NO RATINGS

@Beth Yes, just embedding sensors in everyone would have huge advantages for the police state.

But it would prevent one important advantage of the current iBeacon system - on Monday morning, when I'm not feeling so great, my buddy can take my phone to our 8 AM Chem class and I'll get credit for being there.

Re: Limited usefulness?
  • 4/3/2014 8:41:01 AM
NO RATINGS

Why don't we just imbed sensors in everybody, give the government and local police access to all that tracking information, and call it good?

Re: Limited usefulness?
  • 4/3/2014 7:34:03 AM
NO RATINGS

I think the cross platform issue is a very big problem.  I don't know that RFID is the answer but I have wondered why we're not seeing cell phones with RFID tags embedded in their cases since there is a power source these could be active tags and with a little work the phone could turn the tags off when someone wants to hide.  Between iBeacon, NFC and RFID there are plenty of options for device tracking and I would assume that any solution using iBeacon can be modified to use other tags.  How the tags are used does become an issue but in many instances I can see having your device on being more beneficial than dangerous to your privacy.  Getting alerts about heavily congested areas, live maps inside large buildings and discount codes are all things that I would expect to see.

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