“Ever since iBeacon made its debut on the iPhone in 2013, it’s been heralded as the next big thing for retailers,” Aaron Tilley reports for Forbes. “Using the Bluetooth low energy radio on your smartphone, iBeacon technology can track your location within a few feet of where you are and push you special deals and advertisements onto your phone as you pass by stores.”

“It looks like McDonald’s MCD +1.81% is taking the plunge. 26 McDonald’s franchises in Columbus, Georgia have been testing out the technology with its customers. In a four week trial, these fast food joints have been pushing special deals for McChicken Sandwiches and 10-piece Chicken McNuggets,” Tilley reports. “The promotions pushed McChicken Sandwich sales up 8 percent and Chicken McNuggets up 7.5 percent.”

“‘In the [fast food world], these are big numbers,’ said Robert Hanczor, the CEO of San Diego-based iBeacon startup Piper, which made the app for McDonald’s to send the promotions. ‘They saw significant statistical change in consumer behavior,'” Tilley reports. “Based on these initial results, Piper is working on rolling out iBeacon programs to other McDonald’s franchises in the southeast for an additional 263 retail locations.”

“While retail is the most obvious place to start for iBeacons, there’s plenty of ways the technology can be used outside of retail, such as the smart home and smart cities or even in manufacturing and industrial arenas,” Tilley reports. “Even though iBeacon installation is currently small, analysts are projecting iBeacon hardware will grow to 60 million units by 2019, according to ABI Research.”

Read more in the full article here.

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