Apple will begin using iBeacon technology in 254 of its U.S. stores from Friday.
Apple demonstrated the tech this week at its 24-hour Fifth Avenue store in New York City, where the company has installed around 20 iBeacon transmitters.
The transmitters use a form of Bluetooth technology rather than GPS, since this works better when distinguishing between locations that are just a few feet apart. Unlike traditional Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy has a range of around 150 feet and (surprisingly enough given the name) uses a lot less energy, meaning that it won’t create a major drain on the device’s battery as a result.
Provided that you have downloaded the Apple Store app — and given it permission to track your location — iBeacon tech will mean that you receive location-specific messages regarding products, events and other information as you move around the Apple Store, depending on where you are standing at any given moment.
This is just one possible application of the iBeacon, of course (others include everything from revolutionary MLB innovations, to allowing you to read the free coffee shop newspapers using your iPad), but it’s one that could further improve the Apple Store shopping experience.
Do you view it as cool or creepy?
Whatever it is, it’s happening.
Source: Associated Press