“In 2013, Apple unveiled a technology that had the potential to revolutionize brick-and-mortar retail: iBeacon,” Evan Niu writes for The Motley Fool. “The protocol was built on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and promised to enable micro-location tracking in a way that offered far more accuracy than traditional GPS or the assisted GPS in modern smartphones. We’re talking about being able to tell what specific aisle a customer is perusing, and being able to market to that customer accordingly.”

“At the time, Apple was rumored to be working on mobile payments — what we now know as Apple Pay — and the idea of micro-locations combined with mobile payments was like a futuristic dream for retailers. Imagine offering a targeted coupon or discount to a customer based on micro-location and then prompting them to pay on the spot with a smartphone,” Niu writes. “Third-party companies like Estimote even sprouted up to make and sell beacons using iBeacon.”

“Following a pilot program, Macy’s said in 2014 that it would roll out beacon technology nationwide. Major League Baseball uses beacons to make ballparks more interactive in numerous ways. Even a few local grocery stores tried deploying them for the same retail reasons. So what happened?” Niu writes. “Apple never really cared all that much. For starters, Apple hasn’t really done much over the years to promote the protocol in a meaningful way. In fact, it never really did. iBeacon was little more than a footnote during WWDC 2013, and wasn’t even mentioned during WWDC 2014.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s not exactly on life support. It’s more like treading water. You can either get picked up in time by a passing boat or – glub, glub, glub – hope you enjoyed your swim!

SEE ALSO:
Apple patents citywide iBeacon-based navigation infrastructure to augment, replace GPS – May 17, 2016
Apple iBeacon finds its way into McDonald’s and sandwich sales increase – December 18, 2014
Estimote makes ‘Nearables’ – iBeacon stickers you can stick on anything – August 22, 2014
Apple and the omnichannel: 9 industries already using Apple’s iBeacon – July 29, 2014
Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor roll out Apple’s iBeacon tech across North America – July 28, 2014
Hundreds of London businesses are about to flip the switch on payments via iBeacons – June 19, 2014
inMarket: iBeacon increases in-store app usage, retention, and brand engagement – June 16, 2014
Google wants in on Apple Inc.’s iBeacon party – June 9, 2014
GE integrates iBeacon into new LED light fixtures, Walmart installing in stores worldwide – May 29, 2014
Walgreens and Walmart testing iBeacon, Motorola Solutions launches iBeacon marketing platform – May 7, 2014
Virgin Atlantic trials Apple iBeacon tech for iPhone users at London Heathrow Airport – May 2, 2014
New York City bars to use Apple’s iBeacon for pub crawl promo – April 28, 2014
New sunglasses with iBeacon notify you when lost, act as beacons in retail – April 28, 2014