Apple turns on iBeacon to guide shoppers at 254 U.S. retail stores

“GPS will tell you how to get to the nearest Apple store. With iBeacon, Apple hopes to guide you around once you’re inside, whether it’s to pick up an order, upgrade to a new iPhone or shop for a pair of headphones,” Barbara Ortutay reports for The Associated Press. “On Friday, Apple Inc. will begin using the technology at its 254 U.S. stores to send you messages about products, events and other information — tailored to where you are inside, provided you have downloaded the Apple Store app and have given Apple permission to track you. Using the iBeacon feature, the app will notify you if the computer you ordered is ready to be picked up, for example. Show a clerk your screen with the order number, and the clerk will get it for you. Walking by an iPhone table? You may get a message asking if you want to upgrade, check your upgrade availability and see if you can get money for trading in your old phone.”

“The company demonstrated the technology to The Associated Press this week at its busy, 24-hour Fifth Avenue store in New York City. At this particular store, Apple has installed about 20 iBeacon transmitters, some of which are simply iPhones and iPads, which come with the capability as part of the iOS 7 mobile software released in September… To take advantage of this, make sure you have Bluetooth enabled on your phone and download the Apple Store app. You’ll have to agree to let Apple track your location and to receive notifications while in the store,” Ortutay reports. “The implications go beyond Apple stores. One day, commuters might get information on subway delays as they stand on the platform, while museum visitors might get details on the painting they are standing in front of. Other retailers, of course, will be also able to offer special deals or track [in] which aisle shoppers spend the most time.”

“Major League Baseball already plans to use the technology next year to customize fans’ experiences at its ballparks, provided they download the At The Ballpark app to their iPhones or iPads and have iOS 7 installed,” Ortutay reports. “In a demo earlier this year, MLB officials showed how the app can offer special features based on users’ location in a stadium, such as coupons in the souvenir shop or a video that plays near landmarks.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: NFC now stands for “No Fscking Chance.”

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


    1. No there’s just LOTS of people…wise, happy shoppers, so this tech makes it even easier to find that needed item quickly.

      If course, you’d probably prefer to spend 8 hours tweaking your droid to run whatever and get rid of virusus…but sone of us like to LIVE!

  1. What’s the cost of an iBeacon transmitter? Is this a new product that Apple is selling to anyone who would like to use one? I’d never heard about these transmitters as a new product line.

    1. Several companies are selling them now. Last I heard the best deal was 3 for $99.00, but that may already have come down. I would think a quick search would turn up a few of these offers.

    2. iBeacon is a proprietary Apple system that uses standard Bluetooth LE protocols to trigger proximity events.

      Any programmable Bluetooth LE device can be set up to advertise an iBeacon service, it doesn’t have to be an iBeacon specific device from Apple.

  2. Odd; most people go to Apple stores to experience the newest Apple hardware and software, not to dink around with their old iOS gadget. Who’s going to be impressed by some app that navigates them the last 20 feet to the appropriate product display?

    dog food indeed.

    1. Way to exercise that imagination of yours. Clearly, the sole use of iBeacon is to guide shoppers solely within the confines of an Apple Store. There couldn’t possibly be any use beyond that.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.