Re: iBeacon on iOS 7 and 5s
Scoble and others predicted this a while back; no doubt BLE is the reason that Apple has eschewed NFC. However, one definite advantage of BLE would be considered here a *huge* disadvantage had Google been out in front of that. That advantage is range.
NFC has an effective range of a few centimeters. That certainly can be inconvenient, but on the plus side it means you have to have some intent to exchange information (giving or receiving) by moving close to it.
Users may like that they can buy from Starbucks without going to the counter, but advertisers are going to like it much more. The BLE spec (and the linked article) talk about notifications being helpfully sent when you are in range. BLE's range can be between 10 and 50 meters, depending on whom you ask. Driving slowly down a city street -- or in a typical shopping mall -- how many times are you going to come within 10-50 meters of a participating store? Granted, you most likely need to have an app installed, but, for example, I have the Subway app, and order through it quite frequently. The BLE spec certainly allows for a situation where Subway could push me something every time I pass by a franchise -- which, at least in America, are just about everywhere. When I stroll down to my local food court to get a burrito, am I going to get a ping from Subway, from Chipotle, from Starbucks, from Macy's, from Sears, and from Apple, simply because I come within 10 meters of all of them every time?
I'm not sure that tradeoff is worth it.
What, if any, protections are against that, or is iBeacon going to be as intrusive a location advertising conduit as it seems like it could be?