Date: Thursday, December 12th, 2013, 08:28
Category: Apple, iOS, iPhone, Mobile, News, privacy, retail, Retail Store, Services, Software
Last week Apple started rolling out iBeacon, Apple’s location based technology that offers a “better user experience”. What they mean is that when you are in a store with an iPhone, they can track your location to the foot, allowing iBeacon to send you notifications with info on the product you are standing in front of, coupons, sales, or general info on the store. It has been pointed out that Apple use coupons and rarely has sales (except Black Friday), but since the iBeacon technology will be sold outside of Apple, it is sure to be used by the likes of Target and Walmart.
The tech is making its way into Apple Stores now, and is coming to some baseball stadiums via the MLB app possibly in 2014. To get the benefits of iBeacon in an Apple retail store, open the Apple Store app on your iPhone, go to settings and enable In-store Notifications. Of course you also need to have Location Services enabled on your phone as well. Then you just have to find a store that has implemented it. I tried the San Francisco Chestnut St. store yesterday with no messages appearing on my iPhone, so I expect it will take a while for the systems to make it everywhere. The Mac Observer has a great article about this and making the connection that the reason Apple avoided NFC (Near Field Communication), which many thought was a mistake, was because they were already working on their own versatile system. I think it goes without saying that since iBeacon utilizes Bluetooth, Apple doesn’t have to spend the time to implement yet another technology into devices, and well as the extra cost of production.
Have you been to a store that has iBeacon? Let us know in the comments, and what you think about a future of ads being pushed to your pocket. You can turn it off, but does this count as an intrusion of privacy?