Apple adds iBeacon specification to MFi certification program

ibeacon1214Apple has added the iBeacon specification to its MFi certification program, allowing manufacturers to seek approval for products that’ll use the iBeacon name, reports Beekn.

Specifications for these iBeacon-compatible Bluetooth LE devices are available to manufacturers who apply for the free program and agree to an NDA. We know that iBeacon-devices must conform with Apple’s implementation of the Bluetooth technology, but the detailed hardware and software requirements are still unknown.

The extension of iBeacon to the MFi program suggests Apple is looking to make iBeacon a household name that can be used by a variety of businesses. By requiring a certification program, Apple also ensures the technology provides the “Apple experience.” Despite being an Apple standard, Beekn believes the iBeacon technology could be made compatible with Android devices as well as Apple products.

But there’s no particular restriction in place which makes an iBeacon incompatible with Android or other phones. So while a beacon might carry the iBeacon name, this simple means that it has access to the trademark and that it has been configured to work well with Apple devices.

But there’s no particular restriction in place which makes an iBeacon incompatible with Android or other phones. So while a beacon might carry the iBeacon name, this simple means that it has access to the trademark and that it has been configured to work well with Apple devices.

Apple launched its MFi program in 2005 and used it to certify third-party accessories for its popular line of iPod music players. The “Made For iPod” program charged manufacturers a small fee for using this branding on its products. As Apple added to its product portfolio, the company expanded the program to include the iPhone and iPad. Recently, Apple added the lightning connector and iOS gaming controllers as those technologies were introduced by Apple.