iBeacon isn’t a feature of iOS 7 that was heavily publicized upon its launch, however it is a very awesome underlying and under-hyped feature. Shopkick is a company looking to implement this into retail stores with its new ShopBeacon service, and it has partnered with Macy’s to test this out in the retail space. iBeacon uses Bluetooth LE, a new low energy (hence, LE) Bluetooth protocol that can send information to devices within a certain range. Macy’s will be installing this into two stores as a testbed for the service, which includes its New York’s Herald Square and San Francisco’s Union Square stores.
Something that this could be use for is that when a customer walks into a store, the app could automatically open and present special deals only available within that store, etc. The trial run at the Macy’s stores are currently in a closed beta but are going to be opened to everyone in the coming weeks, whereafter Shopkick will begin selling the $40 ShopBeacons to other retail partners for implementation into their own respective stores. The service has a lot of cool features that should make iBeacon implementation catch on in the retail space.
iBeacon itself is a very neat idea, whether or not places outside of retail will use it successfully (which hasn’t proven successful yet either) has yet to be seen. Baseball stadiums are another a place that some have suggested its use, and AT&T Park in San Francisco has tested it and will continue to next season.
What do you think? Do you think will be successful? Would you use the iBeacon service? Let us know in the comments, or tweet me @TiP_Kyle.