Apple now has an official certification process for manufacturers that wish to use its iBeacon specification, according to Beekn.net. Under the company’s Made for iPhone (MFi) program, manufacturers can request the ability to use the iBeacon branding provided their device meets certain qualifications.
Manufacturers can reportedly register to use the iBeacon name for free, and specifications are provided after signing a non-disclosure agreement. Those specifications haven’t been revealed, but Beekn.net notes the following of beacons that carry the iBeacon branding:
- They broadcast Bluetooth LE “signals” in a way that conforms to the Apple standard for what those signals should contain
- They have use of the iBeacon trademark
Until now, the term iBeacon has generally been used to describe any Bluetooth beacon. Apple’s program is designed to give it more control over the branding. The good news is that this shouldn’t restrict iBeacon use to Apple devices only. While the iBeacon branding certifies the beacon will work well with Apple devices, it should also be able to work with Android devices that support Bluetooth 4.0 LE.