Apple will be installing and using iBeacons to help customers find things quicker while in store and likely alleviate some of the questions they have for store clerks along the way. The AP’s Barbara Ortutay has published a report indicating that Apple will roll out its iBeacon technology in all 254 of its U.S. stores today.
Apple’s stores are pretty well designed, and consistent enough in their layout that if you spend a moment or two looking around you can probably find what you’re looking for in a real hurry. But, from the sound of it, some of Apple’s customers may need a little more help navigating the store and figuring out when things can be picked up from the genius bar. Or, stated another way, a little more incentive to part with their cash.
The new technology will help assist store staff with a number of alerts, such as sending customers information about products being ready to be picked up. It’s also going to do a lot of hard selling, asking if you want to upgrade a phone or tablet, all while checking if you’re eligible for upgrades and how much money you can get for your current phone by trading it in at the store. The beacons can have large or small radius, delivering generic information while you’re in store like welcome messages, or they can narrow in and give you information on iPad minis while you’re standing at the mini table.
Before all you privacy nuts freak out, you have to opt-in to the service before Apple starts
tracking you sending you notifications.
There’s a ton of interesting things that can be done with the technology, outside of hocking wares while you shop, although that’s probably where this thing takes off first. Imagine waiting for a flight and an Airport hits up your phone with an alert when you walk through the doors letting you know that your flight has been delayed. Heck, there’s even coffee shops that will be delivering Newsstand publications to its patrons using iBeacon technology.
Things are about to get a whole lot more Minority Report up in here. It’s also pretty interesting to see that the usual suspects who complain about advertising tracking and the use of “tracking beacons” in that particular industry seem to be singing the praises of iBeacon which essentially does the exact same thing when you get down to the nuts and bolts of it.