Texas Instruments move to support Apple's iBeacon proximity technology in its wireless microcontrollers and connectivity chips could open the door for more enterprise applications beyond retailing.
On Wednesday, TI said that it would support iBeacon across its Bluetooth portfolio. The move would put iBeacon inside sensors used in automobiles and other verticals.
Apple's iBeacon uses Bluetooth for micro-location targeting with iOS 7. The common use case to date is retailing where shoppers could get customized pitches and suggestions based on where they were in a store. The technology is also being used in stadiums to enhance the viewing experience and Adobe recently added iBeacon support to its marketing suite.
TI also launched a location app for iBeacon and integration into its SimpleLink SensorTag developer kit. TI's location app will allow you to upload a floor plan and demonstrate how the company's SensorTags can create an indoor positioning system.
With TI support, iBeacon could be used in more enterprise experiments with asset tracking, automation systems and industrial applications. Should TI be followed by sensor tag players---a likely development---iBeacon (and Apple) would become more embedded with the enterprise Internet of things.
There are still a lot of parts that need to fall in place for iBeacon to be a true enterprise tool, but TI support in a big way is a start.