Apple’s location-tracking iBeacon is poised to explode across retail faster than anyone can imagine

“Apple’s product event in San Francisco on Oct. 22 featured the expected upgrades to the iPad and MacBook lines, with better processors, sharper displays, and increased battery life,” Sam Grobart reports for Businessweek.

“The bigger news was quietly rolled out a little more than a month ago, when Apple unleashed iOS 7 onto the world,” Grobart reports. “Embedded in the mobile operating system’s flashier interface and multitasking features is a new technology called iBeacon that can pinpoint your location to within a few feet.”

Grobart reports, “iBeacon is software that enhances the location-tracking services in an iPhone, an iPad Mini, or any device running iOS 7. For retailers desperate to turn smartphones from distractions into a sales tool, it provides a quick way to target ads and other messages to consumers as they walk through a store. For Apple, it’s a chance to collect valuable shopping data and to build a mobile-payment platform into a dominant retail standard… ‘iBeacon’s momentum is just getting started,’ says Hari Gottipati, an independent tech consultant in Phoenix, ‘but it’s going to explode faster than anyone can imagine.'”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Attention, retailers: With iBeacon, Apple has figured out mobile marketing – October 11, 2013
Apple’s iBeacon to deliver completely interactive experiences for fans at MLB stadiums – September 27, 2013
Apple’s amazing iOS 7: Three game-changers hidden in plain sight – September 26, 2013
Apple’s brilliant iBeacons system will enable purchases, contextual marketing, automated check-ins and much more – September 14, 2013
Apple’s NFC killer: iOS 7′s iBeacons – September 11, 2013
iBeacons may prove to be Apple’s biggest new feature for iOS 7

33 Comments

  1. Apparently, none of you naysayers have ever gone shopping and come home and had your wife ask you: “Did you use the coupon I clipped for that?” If iBeacons can save me from having that conversation even one time – spam the sh!t out of me!!!

  2. Imagine walking into a Home Depot, or Walmart and having your phone direct you to the exact location of an item ? This will be a great use for ibeacon technology.

    1. Perhaps you don’t understand the science of retail store design: always force the customer to walk by as many accessories and prominent promotion displays on the way to the one item that the customer actually wants to buy.

      One can easily imagine iBeacon’s negative uses easily outweighing the positive promise if iBeacon is put in the hands of ANY establishment that has a primary purpose of making money.

      … and if you actually think that the huge mega-retailers who have enough money to implement iBeacon-equipped apps give much concern to customer experience, you would be mistaken. They are merely implementing technology to eliminate sales employees who once upon a time knew the products they sold and could educate the customers on them. Now most large retailers are one step removed from vending machines, with a “greeter” acting as the token customer service, and constant sales pushes accomplished via electronic means on the internet, and now also in your pocket.

      I am not impressed with every electronic screen and every internet service rapidly being taken over by advertising.

      1. Holy crap!
        I can only imagine the survivalist, anti-consumerism, end-times bunker you have constructed for yourself. Do you power your early Windows XP laptop with a pedal pumped flywheel?
        The enormous amount of drivel you excrete is astounding!

  3. iBeacons is more than just shopping. Imagine the if museums, art galleries, parks visitors centres, libraries etc etc were to implement this tech. Wandering around with iPhone getting stuff related to the stuff I stop to look at. Sure beats those tacky crap Walkman type thingys that are usually supplied (for a cost).

  4. Bargain hunting is fun for a lot of shoppers. Merchants who understand smart shoppers and have the right attitude as they design their promotions should only enhance the experience, increasing the number of sales transactions and making both parties happy.

    My mother was an inveterate coupon clipper. She would mail me fat envelopes of them, everything from coffee filters to jumpsuits. Most of the time, I couldn’t be bothered with them. Now that there are shopping apps, life is so much better. iBeacon beckons shoppers into a fresh new age of curated shopping that reimagines the concept of the coupon.

    I realise many of you see such commercial systems as additional spam opportunities, or as a surreptitious compiling of dossiers. I hardly think commerce is a domain where slippery-slope, second-amendment arguments work very well.

    The real issue that has to be addressed is not so much abstract individual rights, but capitalism itself at the retail level. Industry after industry is seeing a forced makeover, thanks to the relentless evolutionary pressure of technology. Retail is individuals meeting mass marketing. Why exempt it from the benefits of personalisation?

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