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Our view on Apple's jack decision

Narrow band low power wireless signals in the provision of location-based services

The true significance of the demise of the 3.5mm headphone jack in Apple’s new iPhone 7 has been missed by many in the mainstream media.

Technology minded types will have got it straight away – you don’t need a wire to be connected to headphones.

In a sense that has been true since Guglielmo Marconi’s pioneering work on long-distance radio transmission in the 20th century. Marconi’s wireless created an electromagnetic connection between two sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

More than a century after the Italian Marquis connected Ireland and Newfoundland in December 1901, the kind of personal area wireless connections we are very familiar with at Briteyellow are provided by Bluetooth.

Consumers are already aware of the concept of Bluetooth through the wireless connections that enable them to use their mobile phones hands-free whilst driving or to connect their smartphone app with a fitness tracker.

Apple’s jack decision will, we think, encourage owners of the new iPhone 7 to explore the potential of pairing their device with Apple headphones or other accessories. Why use a wire, when you can use a wireless… as Marconi may have mused.

In Briteyellow’s universe we are excited about the broader potential of Bluetooth beacons and other narrow band low power wireless signals in the provision of location-based services in general.

Bluetooth Beacons are incredibly cheap, easy to run emitters of signals which can be placed throughout high footfall venues such as airports, shopping malls, department stores, stadiums, and visitor attractions. They can connect to smartphones and provide location-based information direct to end users.

Indoor venues, being cut off from satellite signals, cannot use GPS to provide location based services to end users.

Using some what may be described as “no-sky thinking” here at Briteyellow, we’ve found ways, with our patent pending BriteLocate3D technology, to precisely locate connected smartphones indoors. It’s indoor, no-satellite navigation.

While sat navs have revolutionised many motorists’ experience of driving outdoors and indoor location services will, we believe, do the same for end users and facilities managers alike. There are also huge possibilities for retailers which I won’t explore here.

So thanks, you guys at Apple, for helping the evolution of perceptions of personal wireless connectivity among the general public and the non-tech minded.

Or, in other words, I’m alright – no jack!


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