This is a great video that shows the different functions and capabilities of iBeacons.

iBeacon in Accessibility, iBeacon Technology, Uncategorized

Helping those with visual impairments — Apple provides iOS technologies to help the visually impaired navigate their devices and the world around them including text-to-speech capabilities, dictation technology built into Siri, and support for Bluetooth Braille displays. iBeacon setups could tap into these technologies to provide specific information about a space or venue useful to the visually impaired.

While reading an article about the “10 things iBeacon could transform that have nothing to do with retail.” I felt that this quote was pertinent to show the brief synopsis on how it could help those with visual impairments. It was also comical because it was the shortest blurb on the 10 things list even though it could have the largest personal impact on an individuals life who is blind or has sight impairments. 

Helping those w…

iBeacon in Accessibility, iBeacon Technology, Uncategorized

iBeacon for indoor positioning

The article below discusses how the iBeacon can be used for the airport and locating your terminal, the mall, finding your parked car and many, many more functions. The main functions that were mentioned is that they work indoors unlike GPS, are energy efficient, they work in all weather and don’t require Wifi or data connection.

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iBeacon in Accessibility, iBeacon Technology, Uncategorized

iBeacon accessibility

iBeacon accessibility has many new uses that are making the software more user friendly and a capable  device for users with vision impairments. The device gives the ability to mark when they are getting close to a door or steps and to turn on lights and let the user know where there is an accessible entrance.

The iBeacon is also developing for the non-impaired as well and is coming up with new capabilities such as how to find your car in a busy parking lot or to put on your bike so no one can “walk away with it.” With the functionality expanding outside of the impaired realm it might help to perpetuate the number of beacons and the places that interact with them. This in turn will help the impaired because it could offer more accessibility for them due to increased “hype.”

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iBeacon in Accessibility, iBeacon Technology, News

Assistive iBeacon applications for the visually impaired

The iBeacon is a highly advanced piece of technology that has many useful attributes. Originally, the product was designed to help notify and draw in customers within a certain proximity to a particular stores sale, bathroom location, food court or other designated attractions. This incredibly progressive idea  benefits both the customer and the retailer alike.

Below are a few words  from the the authors of Apple Insider on other functions designers are finding for the iBeacon:

Micro-location door activation

Essentially, rather than using satellite signals to locate a device anywhere on Earth as GPS does, BLE can enable a mobile user to navigate and interact with specific regions geofenced by low cost signal emitters that can be placed anywhere, including indoors, and even on moving targets. Additionally, it appears iOS devices can also act as an iBeacon:

Acting as iBeacon, a user with an iOS 7 device in hand could trigger events around them, allowing them to, for example, turn on lights and unlock and open doors simply by signaling the user’s proximity to devices listening for it via BLE.

While Apple’s specific feature set for iBeacons remains under NDA, the BLE specification also supports the concept of device leashing, which could, for example, enable a peripheral like a watchband to communicate its location to a configured smartphone. The specification also supports peripheral push notifications, which Apple supports in new APIs in both OS X Mavericks and iOS 7.

Micro-location indoor navigation

iOS 7′s iBeacons can be used by app developers to do things like build an interactive tour of a museum, where the user’s attention is directed to specific exhibits as they walk freely within the building. In more general terms, the feature can also be used enable indoor navigation similar to GPS in settings such as an airport or underground subway station where GPS signals aren’t available, or specifically to enhance navigational accessibility for the blind or users with other impairments.

As enumerated above, the iBeacon, like many other technologies out on the market, have great potential not only from a business perspective, but on a practical level as well. The visually impaired community could greatly benefit from devices with micro-locating abilities as a means of navigation in public settings. The technology does not have to change, neither does the target audiences for the engineers of these products, it is simply the expansion of one idea and applying it on a much grander scale. That is not to say that it would not benefit the manufacturers of items such as the iBeacon to be conscious about broadening their ideas of who could benefit and utilize their products.

To learn more about my sources on assistive iBeacon applications click: Assistive iBeacon applications

To see a disables user scenario click: iBeacon UNR



iBeacon in Accessibility, iBeacon Technology, News

iBeacon Current Applications

For this MLB season, iBeacons have been installed in 20 of the 30 stadiums around the United States.  They will be used to check fans into the stadium, show the fans where the nearest entrance and exit is, provides concession information, maps, video clips, and the ability to upgrade your seat.  The only issue is that the iBeacon will only benefit people that have an Apple device.


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iBeacon is also being used by teachers to automatically take attendance as the students enter the classroom.  This ensures that every student is accounted for and that the students cannot play hooky.  Students can also use the iBeacon to ask questions about assignments.


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iBeacon is also used for the way people interact with stores, parks, and museums.


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