iBeacons are very small Bluetooth devices that you can normally attach to a wall, doorway, or any other location. These devices send out a signal that mobiles can detect to work out how far away they are from that specific location. iBeacons have been around for a few years now, but are only recently starting to make their way into more main stream usage. The majority of this adoption has been in consumer facing applications, but this technology has a very broad usage that businesses can take advantage of.
A beacon’s signal can be detected from a few inches or up to 70 meters away and an app can then trigger different behaviours depending on how far away you are from the specific location. The benefits that beacons bring over other location services such as GPS are that they work very well indoors (you don’t need to be able to see a satellite for them to work!) and you can make the location of the beacon very precise to give your users specific, context rich information.
Applications for this technology could include apps knowing specifically where users are in a room, for example walking around a museum and knowing which exhibit they were looking at, or logging staff coming in/out as they pass through a doorway.