All about iBeacons:
A lot has been written about iBeacons since FileMaker 15’s release, with examples and files and different ideas about how to use them. So much so, that it’s hard to find a lot of good information. So here’s my list of resources available out there now.
Start with this video about iBeacons from Pulsate HQ. It gives you a great overview of just what they are and some of their possible uses:
Beacon (and iBeacon) basics, as explained in the above video, are simple:
- An Beacon is a generic signal generator that is like a lighthouse – it sends out a signal, but doesn’t know who sees it.
- iBeacon is Apples version of a Beacon
- Beacons use bluetooth technology to send the signal, and are not usually internet connected
- They don’t steal data, because they only send out a signal, and don’t connect to the receiving devices
- It can be a battery powered device, including an iPad or iPhone
- They can detect distance, and are programmable to send their signal out a specific distance, from 2 to 70 meters.
- Longer distances will reduce battery life
- The number of pulses the iBeacons sends out per second affects battery life
- Some beacons are powered (no battery)
- Use iBeacons to drive sales, cross sales, do some up selling, as well as inventory control, information systems, and on and on
- For more specifics on non FileMaker uses for iBeacons, check out noty.com
For FileMaker specific information–procedures, scripts, examples, custom functions, etc.–here’s a good list of links:
- Chris Ippolite’s video offers an overview with a warehouse example
- J Sciarra, of Colibri Solutions, explains how iBeacons work, and built custom functions into his downloadable example file
- Martha Zink has three videos on the subject worth your time
- DB Services has a short example video and article here
- Didier Daglinckx has a plenty of info on his Scoop.it page
As a developer, get up to speed, then be on the lookout for situations that lend themselves to iBeacons. Then have fun developing a fun solution!