United Nations Simulates Violent Land Mines via Apple iBeacons

'Sweeper' promotes land mine awareness via an exhibit organized by the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), at New York's New Museum.

Using Apple's iBeacon technology, which harnesses Bluetooth Low Energy and geofencing to provide micro-location awareness between apps, UNMAS was able to plant invisible, simulated land mines around the exhibit space. Inside the organization's app, also called Sweeper, a land mine "explodes" when an unlucky individual comes across one. A recording then explains the physical injury inflicted by each type of mine: Bouncing Betty, PRB M3, VS50 — all gruesome, most deadly.

"There is a Japanese saying: To hear about [a conflict] 100 times is less impactful than to actually see it one time," said UN Japanese ambassador Kazuyoski Umemoto. "In Washington, we don't have to see it. We don't have to experience it. But this exhibition will give us some idea what those dangers are."