Apples iBeacon will put the internet of things in your pocket

Apple switched on “iBeacons” across its 254 U.S. stores Friday, using low-power Bluetooth transmitters to offer tips to customers.
Here’s how it works, according to GigaOm:
“Using Bluetooth Low Energy(BLE), iBeacon opens up a new whole dimension by creating a beacon around regions so your app can be alerted when users enter them. Beacons are a small wireless sensors placed inside any physical space [under shelves in Apple stores to promote products] that transmit data to your iPhone using Bluetooth Low Energy (also known as Bluetooth 4.0 and Bluetooth Smart).”
But Apple’s stores are just the first step. “iBeacons could start popping up at retailers, museums, sports arenas, and countless other destinations in the months to come,” says The Verge. “Macy’s is already conducting a private iBeacon trial through a partnership with Shopkick,” for instance.
And it goes beyond stores. As Business Insider points out, “every mobile device made by Apple since the iPhone 4S and the third-generation iPad are already capable of being deployed as an iBeacon receiver or transmitter.
“Meaning Apple already has about 170 to 190 million active iOS devices out there that can serve as iBeacons. After the fourth quarter wave of holiday sales, and once Apple starts selling devices through China Mobile, that number could balloon to almost 250 million active iOS devices.”