Apple Rolls Out In-Store Notifications Via iBeacon in the US

Image credit: AP

Image credit: AP

Starting today, Apple will start using iBeacon technology in its 254 stores and will send you information about products, events, and other information, the Associated Press reports.

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.

Apple demonstrated the iBeacon technology to the AP at its Fifth Avenue store in New York City, where the company installed about 20 iBeacon transmitters. These transmitters use Bluetooth wireless technology for geolocation, as GPS isn’t good for distinguishing between locations that are just a couple of steps apart.

The beacons can be adjusted to specific distances, so you may get some notifications regardless of where you are inside. Others will come only when you are standing at a particular aisle, wall or product demo table. The store can also send out notifications about deals or upcoming events.

The potential of this technology is huge, and the British publishing startup has already started making use of it by pushing content using this technology in certain locations.

According to the AP, Major League Baseball already has plans to use it next year to customize fans’ experiences at its ballparks. All they need to do is make sure they are running iOS 7 and download the At the Ballpark app to their iPhones or iPads.

With iBeacon there are some technical limitations, though: not all devices running iOS 7 are compatible with it. To benefit from Apple’s new technology you have to own an iPhone 4s or later, iPad 3 or later, iPad mini (1–2), or iPod Touch fifth-generation or later.