Two years on, iBeacons still haven't taken off

Two years on, iBeacons still haven’t taken off

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beacon1
iBeacons haven't come too far since launching in 2013.
Photo: Apple

Apple launched its iBeacons to great fanfare back in 2013, but since then… well, they haven’t exactly taken the retail world by storm.

An interesting new article by Bloomberg digs into some of the facts and figures about Apple’s beacon technology, citing reports claiming that only 3 percent of retailers currently use beacons, and just 16 percent have plans to use them in the future.

Of these, Apple Stores are said to account for 15 percent of existing beacons — meaning that the technology Apple viewed as a game changer for retailers hasn’t caught on in quite the way the company thought it would.

Smartly, the article claims that iBeacons may have fallen prey to the downside of being an Apple innovation: namely that Apple hype means everyone expects it to take over the world from day one.

“They’re not ubiquitous yet, but they will be ubiquitous in a couple of years,” says Todd DiPaola, CEO of the startup InMarket.

Steve Cheney, co-founder of Estimote, meanwhile notes that, “People — associating it with Apple — expected it to work out of the box, so to speak,” and claims that, “[Adoption] is happening at about the pace we expected.”

Back in mid-2014, a report from ABI Research suggested that 60 million beacons would be used within the next few years, transforming everything from retail and hospital management, to smart homes and personal device tracking.

Personally, I think smart homes have the opportunity to really make use of iBeacons. But that is another area Apple isn’t experiencing as much rapid success as perhaps some originally hoped.

Do you regularly use beacon technology (whether Apple’s or that of a third party)? Leave your comments below.

Source: Bloomberg