So what if iBeacon has just been rolled out in Apple Store’s across the US?
In case you missed it Apple have turned on iBeacon in their stores across the US. Now you are probably thinking one of two things, either “so what” or “WTF”. So what should you be thinking?
If you are thinking “So What”, it is probably because you may not have taken the time to understand what iBeacon is. To put it simply using Low Energy Bluetooth (BLE) iBeacon sends push notifications to mobile devices within close proximity.
So you are still thinking “so what”?
So when you walk into an Apple store in the US and you have iBeacon configured the Apple Store App on your phone will switch to “in-store mode”. From your mobile device you can now receive alerts such as special offers, pick up orders, read product reviews, check availability, but most importantly you can use iBeacon to make the purchase.
Still thinking “so what”? Here are a couple more things to think about.
Note that I have used the word purchase and mobile device in the same sentence without once referencing NFC, no I did not make a mistake as NFC is not required.
iBeacon provides highly accurate indoor mapping though micro-location enabling you to locate an item within 3 inches. Perfect if you have ever found yourself wondering aimlessly through a store looking for something when all sales reps are busy serving someone else.
The most interesting is that every iOS device since the iPhone 4s and iPad 3rd gen is already capable of being either an iBeacon receiver or transmitter. Which means that retailers need no more technology to enable this type of service than the devices that they are probably already using today.
It is not just the Apple store where this technology will soon be appearing. Major League Baseball will use iBeacons and Passbook in their 2014 season for ticketing, purchasing and even helping you find your seat.
So if you think about the practical applications of this technology, the ease to configure when compared to alternatives and the trust that Apple already has with consumers then potentially it may not be long before its use is widespread.
So what are you thinking now?