The Apple standard is finally being put to good use
Back when Apple invented iBeacon, everyone thought it is going to be killed by NFC. A few years later, nobody really cares about NFC, but the interest for iBeacon seems to be on the rise.
One company that went that path is estimote. A year ago they have shipped Estimote Beacons. Now they are getting ready to send you a new product called Nearables. These are tiny beacons that work on Apple's technology and can show you what the future will look like. They are equipped with built-in accelerometers, temperature and motion sensors that can broadcast radio signals to nearby devices like your iPhone.
When in range, the iPhone can respond to the beacon showing either a notification or any other action. Best thing about Nearables is that their developers have created a Software Development Kit (SDK) and other developers can create apps around them.
The estimote stickers come a in 10-pack and can be pre-ordered for $99 (€74.53).
Imagine you can use these on your dog's collar and see where it's at in a park, or place them on your bike and see if it is being moved or if someone is trying to steal it. Another possible scenario the developers present is a sticker that detects your location only to sense that you are still at home and starts your phone alarm earlier just because there's a traffic jam on your way to work.
Nearables can also be used in stores for marketing purposes. You can stick one to a product or device, and when the customers picks it up, it will send a signal to a nearby TV screen that will automatically play information on that specific item. The store manager can also track how many times the item has been moved and maybe place it in a more prominent spot in the same store.
The device can be used on your purse or laptop so it's going to notice you when you left an item behind, can send you reviews of a good book you picked up in a store, or act as a wireless trigger when your kid or pet is outside a certain area.
The makers of estimote beacons have a Dev Kit available. It's worth mentioning that e sticker is only 3mm (0.1inch) thick and is compatible with iPhone or Android phones equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy. The default battery for such a sticker lasts about a year.