From Apple To PayPal, Beacons Are Becoming A New Tech Battleground

Beacons are a low-cost piece of hardware — small enough to attach to a wall or countertop — that utilise battery-friendly low-energy Bluetooth connections to transmit messages or prompts directly to a smartphone or tablet. The devices have huge implications for the way businesses and organisations can now interact with consumers via their mobile devices.

Because of this, lots of different tech companies want in on the market.

A recent report from BI Intelligence unpacks what beacons are, how they work, and which companies have already begun pushing into the technology.

Apple is way out front. Every Apple device running iOS7 is already capable of being an iBeacon receiver or transmitter. That equates to roughly 200 million active iPhones and iPads that can serve as nodes in any iBeacon system.

But there are already many other companies getting in the mix, particularly on the hardware side.

Here are a few of the others:

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One inherent disadvantage that Apple’s iBeacon has against these companies is that Apple devices and iBeacon technology are designed to work primarily with Apple’s iOS 7 software, not Android or others.

Many of the other beacon manufacturers, including PayPal and Qualcomm, have developed technology that moves across iOS and Android platforms with room to expand to other mobile platforms as well.

In full, the report from BI Intelligence explains what beacons are, how they work, and what industries will lead in implementing beacons. We also take a look at the barriers in the way of widespread adoption.

Here are some of BI Intelligence’s findings:

The report has charts and data that can be easily downloaded and put to use.

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