iBeacon: Looking beyond Hardware

Being a pioneer in iBeacon app development, Dex has always tried to provide best to its clients. Following the custom, we are bringing some insights on iBeacon technology straight from companies who live and breath iBeacons. To begin with here is a excerpt from our discussion with Wojtek Borowicz (@Esti_Wojtek), Community Evangelist at Estimote and what Estimote has in store for its customers  Read more

One Step at a Time – iBeacon in Restaurants

The newest technology introduced by Apple Inc. called the iBeacon, is the new center of attraction for developers around the world especially in the United States.

Apple Inc. describes iBeacon as “a new class of low-powered, low-cost transmitters that can notify nearby iOS 7 devices of their presence.” This technology utilizes the Bluetooth installed in each Apple products and communicates with them directly.

The main function of iBeacon is to expand the technological capabilities of the retail industry. Point of sales (POS), product announcements, and product discounts are just some of the services iBeacon could offer.

iBeacon has been integrated into different establishments and businesses such as hospitals, universities, and hotels. Some restaurants have also integrated iBeacon into their system, hoping it would increase their sales and attract the attention of potential customers.

A concept was launched by two-man hack team Ray Ho and Mark Watson at the 2014 Tech Crunch Disrupt SF hackatahon, which is integrated into the restaurant’s software Clover and will improve the experience of customers waiting on tables.

Ray Ho and Mark Watson embedded iBeacons into every table in the restaurant so that they can monitor the activity of each customer in the table such as ordering food. The problem of constantly checking the customers for their orders will decrease and staffs such as waiters will have more time for other things such as cleaning tables.

Customers will have the option of knowing the available tables via the SmartTable application, before coming to the restaurant. How convenient it may seems, this does not demote human interaction as customers can still order through the cashier, knowing that their order is being processed.

Another advantage of iBeacons in restaurants is that customers can check their bills at any point before paying. They can check how many appetizers they have eaten and how much all those appetizers cost. Now that’s a convenient thing to have especially for those with awkward social skills.

In Germany, a restaurant has produced another innovative way using iBeacons which track the dining habits of their customers. Christian Mook, owner of the Mook Group that has five restaurants, utilizes iBeacon to record his customers’ habits such their favorite food to order up to their favorite table to occupy.

Customers need to download their application to avail the technology. Not only does this setup benefits the Mook Group, customers will earn rewards by using the application, by ordering foods in any of their restaurants, or just by hanging out in one of their restaurants. Customers will also earn points that can be used for special services and trade for rewards.

This move by the Mook Group was devised to improve quality service for the customers.

iBeacon has been the stepping stone of developers to improve the quality of life and improve the technological experience of many businesses and establishments. Since its release, it has gained popularity and the amount of work invested by different people to reveal all of its potential is massive. It just been a year since the release of iBeacon but the way iBeacon changed the experience of many people is forever treasured.

Taxi Apps – Mobile Technology in Taxi Business

Mobile Technology has become the centerpiece in the new business model of taxi services. Mobile technology in terms of taxi apps has bring a lot of conveniences both to the drivers and the customers. It has managed to improve income for many drivers, and it is clear that if you are not yet optimizing the use of mobile technology in your taxi business, you are definitely far behind in the curve and the income it generates. Mobile technology has solved a number of issues that drivers and customers has had for years.


Taxi’s used to have a problem where there are just days when they would end up wandering aimlessly in the streets and not being able to find a customer. They would end up wasting a lot of gas and time, with no income. With taxi apps, they can now minimize their downtime since there is always a customer in every destination, without having to wander around aimlessly.

Carrying Change

The credit card industry has been trying to penetrate the taxi business for years, but with mobile technology, they finally have that link towards cashless transactions. Taxi apps now allow customers to pay via credit card, reducing the need for keeping a lot of change, and the hassle of carrying cash in the car, which can often be easily stolen.

Communication and Feedback

For taxi companies, it has been very difficult for them to properly screen their drivers. Sad to say, there are a lot of bad drives out there with even worse customer service. For customers, mobile technology gives them a voice. Now they can issue feedback about their ride, and can even put up commendations for great drivers through taxi apps.

Safety and Security

Mobile technology has allowed riding a taxi a bit more secure, especially for someone who is not familiar with the lay of the land. Mobile mapping and navigation services allow customers to be in better control of their route, and they can easily see if the taxi is taking the long way around. Alternatively, taxi apps also allow them to share their current position, plate number, and even the driver’s profile, allowing their loved ones to keep track of their ride, preventing cases of kidnapping or theft.

The advancements in mobile technology has completely changed the battlefield of many businesses. Communication became faster and cheaper, the exchange of data is enterprise is almost seamless, and many businesses, new and old, are moving to the cloud. Mobile technology has become a game changer, and it continues to drive change in a business as old as the Taxi Business.

Apple Pay

It took them a while, but Apple has finally unveiled their Apple Pay Mobile payment platform. It is a payment platform that builds on the current credit card system where you tap your phone to a payment terminal instead of swiping a plastic card. This uses a technology called NFC (near field communication) that allows easy transfer of data through a very short distance, allowing it to be more secure and preventing data interception.

When Google failed to popularize and implement the Google Wallet payment system (a predecessor to Apple Pay) many believed that it would take an Apple-based implementation to truly popularize the mobile payment scheme. Does Apple really have the chops to succeed where Google – a much larger reaching company – failed?

Apple has been extremely successful at making originally geeky and extremely technical products work for even the absolute beginner. Their slogan “It just works” is expected and experienced by most of their customers. On top of that. They have such a massive market pull, brand loyalty, and an amazing brand recognition. Now, all those factors will shape how Apple Pay will succeed in this market dominated by plastic credit cards.

The Apple Pull

Let’s face it, when Apple moves, the market budges. Boasting the largest library of accessories and third-party market support in the world, Apple’s products can change and affect the industry far more than other companies. Adoption rate of the Apple Pay system is expected to exceed that of previous implementations. Apple is also known to make carriers bend to their will so we might not see the same carrier blocks that prevented Google Wallet from making any progress.

The Apple Loyalty

Fans of Apple’s products tend to fully use what the iPhone can do. They are also more likely to make payments using their expensive smartphone. As such, they are definitely more likely to try out and eventually adopt Apple pay unlike many of the other mobile payment systems in the market.

The Apple Brand Recognition

This is Apple, a brand that is recognized all over the world for 2 things – security and dependability. It is also a brand that is recognized for customers who are more likely to spend. With that in mind, more companies are likely to adopt an NFC payment terminal to be able to receive payments from such customers. With more stores encouraging the use of Apple Pay, it is only a matter of time before it dominates the mobile payment system.

While Apple may not end up being the most widely used mobile payment platform in the end, it will definitely be the torch that leads the way. With Apple making people more aware of the technology, other platforms that preceded Apple Pay will also start receiving some attention, thereby changing the credit payment system across the globe. This move could practically replace plastic credit cards in a smartphone dominated country.

Untapped potential of iBeacons

iBeacon is a new technology introduced by Apple Inc. and they call it “a new class of low-powered, low-cost transmitters that can notify nearby iOS 7 devices of their presence.” It arrived in iOS7 which means it works with iPhone 4s onwards, iPad third generation onwards, iPad mini and iPod touch fifth generation and later. It was only introduced midyear of 2013 and was commercially available last December 2013.

More stores and establishments such as malls, restaurants, retail stores, among others are adding are iBeacons into their system. This alert nearby customers of their promos and sales, and also makes payment of goods and services a breeze. Almost all technological innovations are for payment and availing of goods and services, iBeacon is not an exception. What if iBeacon could help raise the standards and quality of education not just in the US but all over the globe? What are the ways on how iBeacon can help raise the bar in education?

One way of incorporating iBeacon into education is through the classroom. Through iBeacon the teacher will be able to identify the number of students attending his/her classes and will be able to tell who is absent.

The major downside of this system is that all students and teachers each need an Apple product with iBeacon installed for this scenario to be successful. This system is difficult for some countries to adapt as not all students and teachers can afford an Apple product which is very expensive compared to some phones. But if the Apple Inc. really wants to make an impact with its iBeacon technology, then developing it for the greater good of education would be the best.

However, the drawback of iBeacon in education sector has put a light in a new direction. When we say that it is quite impossible to use iBeacon and apple phone in schools, since schools will not change their ecosystem for this only thing. We can make use of the same phenomenon in corporate sector i.e our offices, factories so and so forth. Skipping the process of marking attendance through biometric ways, punch cards, online markings etc, we can move to a new and innovative way of marking attendance through iBeacons.

Once you enter in your office premises the app will automatically trace the picture and profile of the employee and will mark the attendance and not only attendance, who all joined the meetings, conferences etc. So, If not education, Why not corporate?

Smartwatch – Apple Watch

It has been rumored for a long time now, and we have been left wanting year after year when Apple did not announce it. When we were about ready to give up, Apple shocked us when they finally announced the Apple Watch – the company’s first entry into a slowly growing category of mobile devices.

Smartwatches are devices that worn on the wrist and emulates the feeling of a watch while also providing capabilities close to that of the smartphone. Most smartwatches were designed to be companion products to smartphones. In the same manner, the Apple Watch was designed to complement the iPhone’s capabilities.

The premise is simple: your phone is the source of data, and the Apple Watch becomes your easy-to-access interface. It allows you to use certain mobile features without having to actually take out your mobile. While this made very little sense in the days of the easily accessible 3.5 inch and 4 inch iPhone, the timing of the Apple Watch is perfect now that Apple has finally reached “phablet” category with 5.5 inches of screen real estate.

The Big Phone Companion

The Apple Watch is definitely the perfect big phone companion. With your massive phone more likely to sit in a bag or in a very tight, hard-to-pull-from pocket, you will most likely be looking for a way to easily access certain features without having to take your phone out. Simple things like checking notifications, alarms, and notes become easier with a device mounted to your wrist. You can easily filter out notifications that would need immediate intervention by taking out your phone from the notifications that you can dismiss immediately. Convenience at a glance.

The Health Companion

One of the key features of the Apple Watch is the compatibility with health related apps, specifically the Apple Heatlth Kit. The Apple Watch boats features like activity and inactivity notifications, a quick glance of your fitness and workout results, as well as a heartbeat monitor. Being able to link it to third party workout apps allows it much more flexibility and function, making it a handy replacement to existing health watches being sold everywhere.

A Success?

Nobody can tell for sure if the Apple Watch will be a success. Many have already tried before Apple, and they failed to make a case that would entice a less geeky market. Proving the purpose and indispensability of the smartwatch will take a lot of marketing strength—something that Apple excels in.

Still, the Apple Watch showcased during the keynote still reeks of being a beta – a test product. Pretty much like the Samsung Gear, this product will likely undergo a lot of transformations in a short amount of time to refine the technology and most importantly – the interface.

iOS 8 HealthKit

The health tracking industry was previously dominated by companies like Garmin and Fit bit but the health monitoring and fitness gadget sector is being taken by storm by new smartphones and accessories which offer various apps and features that help integrated these previously separate gadgets into the smartphone.

In light of this, Apple released iOS 8 with a very robust Healthkit App. It is an app designed and integrated with iOS 8 to help track your everybody metric from weight, caloric intake, cholesterol, sugar, and many more. This feature not only allows you to effortlessly list down your daily medical records, but it also helps you understand your overall state of health with informative graphs and fitness assessments. It also allows you to easily share collated health data and medical history so medical personnel can help you better in case of an emergency.

Healthkit was designed to be the central hub for all your health records and needs. This is a marked improvement over previous efforts where your data is spread out between different apps that help track your health. With various and separate apps, the user would have to manage and collate the data themselves, which defeats the purpose of this so-called convenience.

As a centralized hub, Apple designed the health kit to be the primary source of personal health data as well as the singular app where all health data is ultimately stored. To help illustrate this feature, let’s look at a day in Mike’s shoes:

1. Mike’s morning workouts app gathers personal health information from the Healthkit to create the right fitness workout profile for him. This will take into account important health data like current weight, caloric intake trends, etc. Mike would no longer have to input this data himself.

2. Mike would use the app’s workout and health programs to help improve his overall health status.

3. The app would then collate all the data from the workout and report it to Healthkit, updating the user’s personal health data with new stats and results of the workout.

4. Mike would then use several other supported fitness apps from the App Store during other times of the day.

5. The other apps will collect data from the Healthkit and then send the results back to Healthkit after use.

At the end of the day, Mike would have all the data and results from his other apps collated and illustrated in a singular app – the Healthkit, without having to input and collate the data himself, turning the whole thing into an automatic process.

Application Essentials: Five Things to Consider When Developing an Application

Technological advances in the area of electronic devices are this millennium’s greatest investment. Smartphones, tablets, notebooks, laptops, personal computers are just some of the devices that have received major overhaul and improvement. An application has been the major selling point of different electronic devices, so far as developing an application that would be the next big thing in the area of technological advancement.

These five important things should be considered when developing an application.

1) Platform
There are many different platforms available to choose from when developing an application. Mobile platforms (Android, iOS, Windows), desktop platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac), and web applications are just some of the platforms to choose from. Typically, an application that runs in all or most platforms would be the most ideal scenario but it takes a huge amount of time and dedication and is not an easy task. A single platform allows you to develop the application accurately and efficiently.

2) Testing
A newly developed application needs to be tested before a commercial version is released. There are three stages in testing: alpha, closed-beta, and open-beta. Each stage consist mostly of testers trying out the application from its early stage of development, discovering bugs and glitches, suggesting further contents and features, and giving feedback. Testing ensure that the application runs smoothly and properly and all known bugs and glitches are fixed.

3) Target audience
The intended target audience for an application should always be all age group with access to the applications’ platforms. But not all applications are intended for all age group and not all people have access to certain platforms. To ensure that the application will expand into different areas, targeting nearby audiences like your city or your country should be the first target.

4) Support
The more people know and use the application, the more popular and attention the application gets. The contents and interface of the application should be improved as new versions of the application are released. Consumers will want to have new and added features and the compatibility of the application should be expanded into other and all platforms.

5) Price
Developing an application does not mean it is a business venture. Some developed an application to help fellow consumers and made it free but some developed for profits. If that’s the case, pricing the application requires systematic analysis and considerable insights around the target audience. If the price of the application is expensive, consumers will think twice before buying it which leads to limited growth and expansion of the application.

Considering there are many applications that have been created, developing an application is a challenge many developers are still seeing through.

iPhone 6 Reviews

Apple finally unleashed the next generation of their iPhones, the iPhone 6. Many would instantly recognize that it is a lot larger than the previous generations. The company has finally embraced the larger screen, which many would argue is long overdue, there is a lot more to this phone than the bigger screen.

The Pros:

The iPhone 6 finally hits HD resolution for the optimal video watching experience. While screens of the iPhone before were definitely very sharp, it failed to optimize HD playback. Coupled with the high resolution display is the new A8 processor, another investment in 64-bit processing and a noticeable increase in performance over the A7. It is a medley of better app performance and immersion.

Another new adoption is the NFC chip which will be marketed with Apple Pay, a mobile payment service that is soon to come. Whether this will be better than Google Wallet is still up in the air. What we do know is that Apple has the connections and influences to make it work.

Finally, we look at the improved camera. While it may have retained the same 8MP camera size, the quality of each shot has been vastly improved. Apple also increased the focus speed of every shot so you can still capture those moments that just might slip away with a slower focusing camera. With a limited internal space and people’s reliance on cloud storage, a lower file size yet higher quality shot is indeed a better option.

The Cons:

With the iPhone 6, there are a few things you may notice that other phones might do better for you. For one thing, the display may be bigger, but the bezel has also increased. Apple fit only a 4.7-inch display in a phone size that could easily fit a 5-inch display.

The overall size of the phone becomes a con for those who actually agreed to Apple’s previous notion that a phone should be easy to handle with just one hand. That is now nearly impossible with the iPhone 6 since you cannot grip it as tightly as the iPhone 5s. The reachability feature is highly helpful, but it simply isn’t the same as before.

In their drive to slim down the phone to help offset the larger frame, the phone suffers in battery life. While it is not worse than the previous iPhone 5s, it is definitely not any better. Other phones with larger frames embraced the size of the phone and put in a larger and longer lasting battery to match the obviously longer time you will spend staring at the bigger display.


Pure specs may keep the iPhone 6 down against competitors, but Apple’s uniquely married hardware and software still dishes out a more optimized performance than the higher spec alternatives in the market. The lack of new features may leave a lot of people wanting, but it seems Apple only seeks to perfect their previous design and features before focusing on building new ones right now, all except for the battery it seems.

iBeacon in Healthcare – A Beacon of Hope

What if you could access the health records of a patient on your phone? What if you could determine the location of the patient in a hospital? What about the assigned doctor and nurses to the patient? All of this could be possible with the help of Apple Inc. newest Bluetooth technology – the iBeacon.

iBeacon is the newest Bluetooth technology introduced by Apple Inc. and works using the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology or Bluetooth Smart. It provides location-based information and services to similar operating system or a compatible app. Hospitals with iBeacon can greatly raise quality service and provide valuable information to its customers specifically the families and patients.

With iBeacon, hospitals can dissipate information quickly and efficiently and all visiting customers will be able to track the location and room number of the patient they/re looking for. Customers will also be able to pinpoint the exact location of its facilities and other services. Promos, price rate, story, mission and vision of the hospital can also be provided to its customers with the help of iBeacon.

Accessing health records of patients is also a nice addition to the services a hospital can provide. Although security measures must be maintain to ensure all health records are only for confidential uses and will not be leaked outside. Medicine transcription and dosage can also be provided alongside the health records of patients to their customers. Most importantly, customers can keep track of the bills of the patient and can also settle payments.

iBeacon has been commercially been used for retail stores, and since then many establishments have been doing the same thing. It would be a huge step forward if hospitals would be able to utilize iBeacon to its full potential.