iBeacon Comes To Android, Kind Of


Initial responses to Apple’s iBeacon technology have been decidedly mixed, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. After all, exactly the same was true of the iPod, iPhone and iPad in certain quarters upon their release.

Regardless, with Apple keen to push the tech and a number of venues enthusiastic about embracing it, it was only ever going to be a short amount of time before the marketplace rivals started popping up.

It is in this capacity that Qualcomm has announced a similar line of Gimbal proximity beacons.

The advantage? That the platform works on both Android and iOS devices.

“With the availability of Gimbal proximity beacons, we are empowering brands to take mobile engagement with their customers to a whole new level through micro-location,” said Rocco Fabiano, president of Qualcomm Retail Solutions. “Gimbal – with its proximity beacons that use low-energy Bluetooth Smart – is the complete package. Given the affordable pricing of the beacons, retailers and venue operators can install a network for customer engagement that is both more accurate and less expensive than other location-based systems.”

Given that Apple is unlikely to offer iBeacon software on Android, the cross-platform Gimbal gives Qualcomm a potential advantage when it comes to proximity transmitter market share, since it will eventually support both of the most popular mobile operating systems in the world.

How Apple is going to respond isn’t yet known.