One of the innovations introduced by Apple with the official release of iOS7 which positively surprised us is the “location beacon”. It takes advantage of the Bluetooth 4.0 technology, known also as Bluetooth Low Energy or BLE.
Which is the reason of our interest? It is the possibility of creating the interactive tours within a confined space, such as: a museum, an exhibition, a historical building where it is not possible to receive a GPS signal and therefore localize user’s position. But with the iBeacons which use the Bluetooth Low Energy technology such a requirement becomes real.
Another advantage of the Bluetooth 4.0 technology is low power consumption and reduced dimensions of the electrical network.
Bluetooth Low Energy technology indeed, though it uses a battery big as a coin, lasts for at least one year. The electronic network necessary to our purposes is as big as a battery that powers it and therefore makes the localization device extremely small and non-invasive.
All these features make the Bluetooth Low Energy devices usable in the museums, in the expos and in the activities concerning the cultural heritage. They do not require the realization of the data network installations or of the powering plants and due to the small dimensions they can be easily positioned close to an artwork or to a point of interest, without being invasive.
We updated all the iMAG structure to insert all these new features which make the construction of the App extremely easy. It is indeed sufficient to insert the identification data of an iBeacon to activate the proximity alert service which automatically reproduces an audio or a video file or displays a text.
And what about Google? It didn’t stay behind and from the 4.3 version of Android, Jelly Bean integrated BLE technology also to the localization services in a confined space.

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