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iBeacons are moving in

There has been a lot of fuzz about those little guys. Last fall, iOS 7 launched. And with it came iBeacons, which mainly benefited retailers. But those times are changing now – iBeacons are moving in!

Amongst many other possibilities to use iBeacons, there is now a way to use them in your home. The Berlin based Aww Apps has released a new app called Launch Here which enables you to quick launch specific apps that you have tyed to iBeacons in your home. To be more precise: imagine you walk into your kitchen and pass an iBeacon attached to one of your drawers, your iPhone switches on and launches a kitchen timer app. Automatically! Or when enjoying a bit of Netflix on your Apple TV the iBeacon next to your sofa could call up the Remote app. You are eventually sitting at your desk and a to do list opens up on your iPhone. Or while getting dressed next to your coat rack, a routing app would instantly launch. This all work within a radius of about one metre (three feet) from the iBeacon.

Those apps are currently supported with built-in functionality:

- Remote
- Timer
- Waymate
- Wunderlist
- Safari
- Fantastical

Apart from the built-in apps from which you can choose, Launch Here allows you to add other apps that support launch URL. Don’t know where to find the launch URL? Try this: http://handleopenurl.com/

Launch Here could turn your iPhone into a responsive and contextually aware device that could spare you a lot of hustle and satisfy your inner geek.

You might be wondering what happens when you have your iPhone locked and you are near an iBeacon. Launch Here will send you a push notification and tell you what software/app you are about to trigger. By swiping this notification you can directly start that app (or not).

For $2.99, the app won’t engulf you in any financial crisis, but don’t forget: you also need iBeacons – obviously.

For the DIY’ers amongst you: a Raspberry Pi and a Bluetooth LE transmitter could do the trick.

For the lazier or less handy ones: just pick up a pre-built beacon hardware and get started. Two examples of where you can get beacons are Estimote and Beaconic.

This is an early example of how iBeacons can come in handy in your home but it’s also a steppingstone towards a smarter and more convenient future of homes.

For further information, please read Techcrunch’s article on this topic.

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