Beacons are low-cost, low-powered transmitters equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy or BLE (also called Bluetooth 4.0 or Bluetooth Smart) that can be used to deliver proximity-based, context-aware messages.
What is an iBeacon?
The terms iBeacon and beacon are often used interchangeably. The main difference is that iBeacon is not a physical product, it’s a technology. It’s a trademark of Apple for their future BLE products and systems.
Apple introduced iBeacon during the launch of iOS7 at the World Wide Developer Conference, in June last year.
Bluetooth Low Energy (also called Bluetooth 4.0 or Bluetooth Smart) is the specification for the type of signals that beacons transmit. Bluetooth LE has the advantage that it is low energy and is ‘native’ to most modern phones and tablets.