iBeacon reaches out to US Apple shoppers
Apple used freshly deployed iBeacon sensors to virtually — and personally — accompany iPhone, iPad or iPod-toting shoppers through its US stores.
iBeacon could chime in about iPads when someone is checking out the Apple tablets, or weigh in on iPhone covers or ear buds when a shopper pauses at an accessories display.
Code woven into Apple´s newest iOS mobile operating software lets the sensors tell when one of the California company´s gadgets is nearby in-store and then fires off messages about deals, products or other relevant information to draw a potential buyer in.
The sensors “push” information to shoppers´ iPads, iPhones or iPods using wireless Bluetooth technology.
We´re really excited about what iOS developers will be able to do with iBeacon, a technology we introduced with iOS 7 that uses Bluetooth Low Energy and geo-fencing to provide apps a whole new level of micro-location awareness, such as trail markers in a park, exhibits in a museum, or product displays in stores
Apple maintained that the system gathers no data back from devices and merely provides information at seemingly appropriate moments in its stores.
Retailers are increasingly gathering data from smartphone users in shops and tracking their locations and buying habits in an effort to boost sales and efficiencies.
It is difficult to estimate the value of this market because it is so new, but that retailers are anxious to use smartphone data “so they have as much information about the customers in the store as they do about the customers shopping online.”