- beaglepilot (Github) — open source open hardware autopilot for Beagleboard. (via DIY Drones)
- IFR Robot Sales Charts (PDF) — 2013: all-time high of 179,000 industrial robots sold and growth continues in 2014. (via Robohub)
- The Top 5 Claims That Defenders of the NSA Have to Stop Making to Remain Credible (EFF) — great Mythbusting.
- Netflix’s New Error Message — instead of “buffering”, they point the finger at the carrier between them and the customer who is to blame for slow performance. Genius!
The technology is at risk of dying off — and that would be a shame.
iBeacons and various BLE technologies have the potential to shake up many established ways of doing business by streamlining interactions. Although there are potentially many uses for iBeacons, much of the initial discussion has focused on retail. (I’ll follow up with some examples of iBeacon applications outside retail in a future post.)
As I described in my initial post in this series, all an iBeacon does is send out advertisement packets. iBeacon transmissions let a receiver perform two tasks: uniquely identify what things they are near and estimate the distance to them. With such a simple protocol, iBeacons cannot:
- Receive anything. (Many iBeacon devices will have two-way Bluetooth interfaces so they can receive configurations, but the iBeacon specification does not require reception.)
- Report on clients they have seen. Wi-Fi based proximity systems use transmissions from mobile devices to uniquely identify visitors to a space. If you take a smartphone into an area covered by a Wi-Fi proximity system, you can be uniquely identified. Because an iBeacon is only a transmitter, it does not receive Bluetooth messages from mobile devices to uniquely identify visitors.