Recently, documents that Apple submitted for FCC certification way back in July for a new piece of iBeacon hardware became available to the public. It was unclear by the initial filings whether the product was targeted for use in Apple Stores, a form of developer testing equipment, or something else. However, with the exposure of these documents to the public, we now have an idea of what this iBeacon hardware is for.

The user manual included among the documents immediately indicates that it was intended for developers, perhaps to test iBeacon integration in their own apps. Read on for a short description of the Apple iBeacon hardware gleaned from the document, which can be found on the FCC website.

The Apple iBeacon hardware is a unit that mounts to a wall with a standard screw, and it has an LED on its underside, as well as a switch on its side. The LED reports battery condition and general status, while the switch allows the device to be reprogrammed. Battery life isn’t mentioned in the manual, though Bluetooth Low Energy doesn’t drain much power, which probably means it lasts several months. The iBeacon hardware can be recharged via micro-USB.

The manual also mentions an accompanying Apple iBeacon app that can be used to control the device. However, no images of the appearance of this app exist. The rest of the document contains warnings about safety and cleaning, but no pricing details are mentioned.

Beacons are used to pinpoint user location in places where GPS is out of reach, for example, in shopping malls. In the absence of an official piece of Apple iBeacon hardware, a wide range of third-party products has arisen to fill the gap, with varying advantages and disadvantages offered by each iBeacon maker.