In July, at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced iOS 7 with an abundance of new features. One of the most interesting is iBeacon, a location-based technology that works with Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy devices. Using new API’s developers can implement this technology that allows them to access location data over Bluetooth.
According to a report from 9To5Mac, Apple is working on integrating iBeacon systems into its retail stores. Currently Apple is using iPads around their retail stores to display information about each product. The report suggest that the iBeacon systems will be a new way of receiving such information.
Apple is said to have begun stocking up on iBeacon transmitters, and the company, in the next few days, will begin installing these sensors in many Apple Stores across the United States. These transmitters will be placed on the tables that house Apple products in addition to store shelves holding accessories. The technology will serve as a way to both improve the Apple shopping experience, and in-turn, boost product sales.
Sources say that the technology will be used to give customers real time information about the products and services that they are in front of. It is said that it will be used in tandem with an update to the Apple Store iPhone app.
As users walk up to products or the Genius Bar, they will receive a notification on their iPhone that will let them know about pricing information and specifications of the device. Alternatively, as the approach the Genius Bar they will be notified about their appointments and workshop.
Apple could then take this one step further by using their maps app and implementing indoor mapping for a great sense of location. Finally, to take it one step further they could use the new M7 co-processor found in the iPhone 5S for even more precision in finding the users current location in the store.
One example, is the MLB app which utilizes iBeacon APIs to create an interactive experience for fans at baseball stadiums. While developers can currently use iBeacon APIs in their existing apps, but Apple has yet to announce any straightforward development program for the APIs.