FileMaker and iBeacons

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!

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