Is This the First Use of Apple’s New iBeacon Tech?

Source: Apple.comDoes Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) recently revealed setup process for Apple TV herald the arrival of a new Bluetooth-enabled communications protocol? Earlier this week, Apple posted instructions outlining a new method for configuring third-generation Apple TV devices, reports Apple Insider.

The new method allows users to transfer their Wi-Fi network data, iTunes Store account information, as well as language and region format preferences from their iOS 7 device to their Apple TV by touching the two devices together. The data transfer is enabled by Apple’s Bluetooth Low Energy wireless protocol.

Apple Insider notes that this low-energy wireless protocol is also utilized by Apple’s iBeacon communications standard that was introduced as part of iOS 7. Apple’s Bluetooth LE-enabled iBeacon technology can be used for transferring data within a specific distance range. According to the Apple TV setup page, Apple recommends keeping “your iOS device within 10 to 15 feet of your Apple TV until the configuration process completes.”

This Apple TV setup process is only available for third-generation Apple TVs that are using Apple TV 6.0 software or later, while the iOS 7-based device must support the Bluetooth Low Energy protocol. It should be noted that the third-generation Apple TV was the first iteration of Apple’s digital media receiver product to include a Bluetooth chip.

Although the iBeacon technology is currently only being used to enable a convenient method for Apple users to setup their Apple TV devices, other commentators have noted that this technology could be used in conjunction with the iPhone 5S Touch ID fingerprint scanner as the basis for a wireless mobile payment system. Here’s how Apple has traded over the past five trading sessions.


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