iBeacons that could help someone visually impaired get around easier? This could happen in the near future. This video I made shows how someone could use an iBeacon to get around campus. It’s a simple idea for something that is already being used to help people shop and locate things. My hope is that this video can help bring to light the possibility of an iBeacon being set up around campus that a disabled person could find on their smart phone and have it aid them throughout the day to to help find places they would need to go.
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
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.
I found this information on http://www.engadget.com/2014/03/28/san-francisco-giants-mlb-ibeacon/.
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.
I found this information on http://www.psfk.com/2014/04/ibeacon-class-attendance-app.html#!CFY0U.
iBeacon is also used for the way people interact with stores, parks, and museums.
I found this information on http://mashable.com/2014/02/05/apple-ibeacon-shop/.
As a legally blind person having an iPhone has made my life much easier while giving me more independence and now…
Meet iBeacons, the new INDOOR GPS SYSTEM Apple is integrating into iOS 7.
iBeacons will revolutionize how visually impaired, blind, people dealing with anxiety, people with any disabilities and anyone else move inside a building, whether is a store, mall, airport, train/bus station, museum, concert venue, sports stadium, college, school, supermarket, movie theatre, etc…
Beacons technology can be used in any iPhone 4S, 5, 5S and 5C and on Android phones that supports this technology.
Why I say this technology helps people with anxiety?
Well, is well known a indoor GPS will help visually impaired, blind, hard of hearing, deaf and people with any disabilities find their way in any building, but what noone is saying is how people like me who has ANXIETY will profit from this beacons technology.
When I travel to the US and go to Port Authority in NYC, I get my anxiety levels high because if I need a bus never know where to go to find it, yes people can help but sometimes to a degree, at night for instance I would find myself depending on a friend to help me find my way to the bus door.
Imagine being at the entrance of Port Authority and take out your iPhone or Android and be able to know where you are located and more importantly how to get from your current location to your desired location inside the building, easily be able to locate a bathroom, an exit, an elevator, bus numbers areas, etc…
Thanks to ibeacons this is going to happen probably in the near future.
For me, my anxiety will go down a lot when in a strange building because technology will guide me, to me that is a MIRACLE!!!
Now, here is a link so you can learn all the basics of what ibeacons can and will do:
While this is going on, Google is mapping buildings all across America with their own technology and will have indoor GPS apps also accessible for the blind to navigate a building.
Here is a link that talks abit about this:
As you can see, Apple and Google are working super hard on having soon indoor GPS systems in place that not only will allow them to make money but will certainly help our visually impaired, blind, people dealing with anxiety, people with disabilities in general and people in general.
The future is NOW!!!