With the iBeacon platform Apple allows businesses and retailers to push local alerts to people within a particular store or stadium, which is an easy way of informing them about a sale or promotion. Samsung has decided to come up with a direct competitor which its called Proximity. The aim with Proximity is more or less than same, and so is the underlying technology.

Proximity requires Bluetooth LE beacons through which information can be broadcasted to people nearby, and that’s exactly what iBeacon depends upon. There is one major difference though which sets the two platforms apart.

With iBeacon, users are required to have a relevant app open. This app could be of a store or a sport and only then will users be able to receive local alerts when they’re at a store, airport or a stadium. Samsung is apparently going to integrate support for Proximity in Android updates which would mean that this feature would be always on.

Businesses will have the option to offer a separate app that’s compatible with Proximity but it won’t be a necessity, and for users, its one app less to install and run on their smartphones.

Samsung hasn’t said which devices will be compatible with Proximity and when it will ultimately be released. Right now the company is working on signing businesses who will commit to supporting Proximity.

On the other hand iBeacon already has an established presence. It is used in retail stores such as American Eagle, Walmart and more, apart from locations like airports, restaurants and even MLB stadiums.

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