Pulse

By GCN Staff

Blog archive

Disorder in the court? Check your beacon

Apple introduced its iBeacon at a developers conference last June, an “indoor positioning system” it described as "a new class of low-powered, low-cost transmitters that can notify nearby iOS 7 devices of their presence."

Like other beacons, Apple’s iBeacon works in the Bluetooth Low Energy frequency range to send  notifications to other devices within a network of “location-aware” beacons mounted on nearby surfaces.

While the technology is new, initial interest has focused on applications in the retail, events or energy savings, but the technology has also spawned ideas for applications in the public-sector community. In a blog on the National Center for State Courts website, court technology consultant Jim McMillan proposed several, including apps for courthouse navigation and public safety.

“It would be great to be able to provide an automatic guide to assist the public in what is called ‘wayfaring’ though a courthouse facility,” McMillan wrote. Or a courtroom beacon system could be set up to locate over-scheduled attorneys trying to keep up with the typical delays and sudden shifts in the docket.

Finally, beacons could help tighten courthouse security, wrote McMillan, “by automatically locating and calling the closest bailiffs or deputies to the courtroom if there is a problem that they could address.”

For other location-aware applications of beacon technology, “our imagination is the only limit,” he said. 

Posted by GCN Staff on Mar 13, 2014 at 9:01 AM


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