Apple iBeacon May Be The Key To Consumer Navigation In The Future

Image via Northfoto/Shutterstock

Apple Maps can tell you how to find your way to the nearest Apple retail store, and once you’re inside there may be even more help with navigation. Apple’s iBeacon is designed to help guide shoppers around the stores. The iBeacon works in conjunction with the iPhone to help shoppers find their way to certain products and services within the store.

However, the iBeacon has uses that could extend far beyond the interior of the Apple stores in the future. Technology such as this could possibly be used to give information on subway transit times to users on the platforms, visitors to museums and monuments could be given details of the item they are viewing.

The iBeacon also offers benefits to retailers, like Apple, as they can use it to find out which aisles consumers spend the most time on in their stores. This would be helpful in determining which products to push on advertisements. It would also allow retailers to post ads to consumers’ phones based on their location in the store.

Rob Enderle, a technology analyst, voiced his opinion of the iBeacon system. He says that Apple is “pretty good” at getting consumers to try out new technology. However, he thinks it could take several years for iBeacon to really take hold in the retail world. However, once it does begin to become a recognized benefit, Google, Microsoft, and other companies will likely create their own forms of the devices.

Apple Inc. began using the iBeacon systems at its 254 U.S. store locations. The systems were used to send information to consumers about products, special offers, and other information. This information is specifically tailored to your location within the store, and it only works if you have downloaded the Apple Store app and given Apple permission to track you.

The iBeacon system has already caught the eye of retailers, and the Major League Baseball parks will be offering special features to fans next year. The system will offer special coupons and information based on where the user is located in the stadium. The app for this is called At The Ballpark.

Apple demonstrated the technology to the Associated Press this week. In its Fifth-Avenue location in New York City, the Cupertino company installed somewhere around 20 iBeacon transmitters. Some of these transmitters are nothing more than iPads and iPhones that are capable of transmitting thanks to the upgrades launched in iOS 7.