Apple Starts iBeacon Certification Under 'Made for iPhone' Program

iBeaconApple has begun certifying devices for the "iBeacon" mark under its MFi ("Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad") licensing program. According to BEEKn, manufacturers can now apply to use Apple's iBeacon logo on devices that meet the company's standards.

Apple developed iBeacon around Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE), with iBeacon transmitters used for pushing location aware information to receptive devices. The functionality of iBeacon can, and is likely to be, duplicated by others, but Apple is now using its MFi program to control who uses the "iBeacon" trademark.

Apple is requiring companies to sign an NDA to see specifications for iBeacon certification, but BEEKn's sources said that applying for the program is free. To carry Apple's MFi logo usually comes with a per-unit royalty, and it's not clear if Apple will be requiring a royalty for iBeacon certification.

Apple's two highest profile iBeacon installations are within its own Apple Store retail locations and a deal with Major League Baseball to use iBeacons in its stadiums.