Enterprise app developer Mubaloo has created a new MiBeacons division which aims to take the principles of Apple’s iBeacons and apply them to the enterprise world.
The division was formed after CEO Mark Mason invested £250,000, following an extensive period of research after Apple initially introduced its iBeacons alongside iOS 7.
As we’ve previously reported, Apple wants to stock its own stores with iBeacons, sensors that are placed next to products, and can then transmit further details on those products via Bluetooth to iOS 7 devices.
Cupertino’s iBeacons very much piqued Mubaloo’s interest, as we heard in a chat we had with Ben Reed, the firm’s head of technology, last autumn.
CEO Mason explains: “We’ve been looking at Bluetooth Low Energy for the past few years to monitor how the market would develop. From wearables to sensors, Bluetooth Low Energy is helping to make smart environments for smart devices. With MiBeacons, we are taking the principles of iBeacons and applying it to the enterprise market.”
“While others are focusing on consumer opportunities, we believe that one of the biggest markets for the technology will be business intelligence for the enterprise. As beacons are essentially dumb devices, it’s down to developers to create smarter apps and companies to think about how to enhance the user experience.”
MiBeacons work using Bluetooth 4.0 to transmit to compatible Android and iOS 7 devices, and the firm claims the gadgets are both durable and optimised for battery longevity.
What business sectors does Mubaloo see the MiBeacon making an impact in? Retail is an obvious area, where it can provide product details and on-the-spot deals to tempt, along with logistics solutions – monitoring deliveries, both in and outbound. Mubaloo also cites field engineering, facilities management, and visitor solutions – say, for making a visit to the museum a more interactive and engaging experience.
Mike Crooks, former director of Hotspot Training, has been brought on board as Commercial Director of MiBeacons. Crooks enthused: “From workforce management, to health & safety, asset tracking and micro location-based security, beacons create flexible workplaces. As they can be battery operated, beacons can be deployed anywhere with ease to create flexible workspaces.”
Interest has already been shown in the invention, apparently, with three “major” clients having been won over to the MiBeacons cause. Trials of the technology are set to begin imminently, with talk of full-scale deployment perhaps beginning later in 2014.