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Earlier this year at the keynote during its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple mentioned iBeacon microlocation APIs as a new part of its SDK, which are designed to access location data through the Bluetooth Low Energy profile on iOS devices. Now, the company is preparing to integrate iBeacon systems into its retail locations, which will intially help with customer sales and later be implemented to assist with in-store services such as workshops and Genius Bar appointments, reports 9To5Mac.

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According to the report, the integration of iBeacons within Apple's stores will be used in cohesion with a future update to the Apple Store app, which can give detailed information on a product when a user walks near an item. While Apple currently utilizes interactive iPad displays for many of its first-party products in-store, the updated Apple Store app would help users get information about the many products on shelves.
Apple is said to have begun stocking up on iBeacon transmitters, and the company, in the next few days, will begin installing these sensors in many Apple Stores across the United States. These transmitters will be placed on the tables that house Apple products in addition to store shelves holding accessories. The technology will serve as a way to both improve the Apple shopping experience, and in-turn, boost product sales.
Furthermore, Apple is also testing its new iBeacon-based retail system to better provide services in its stores, such as notifying consumers about upcoming workshops, locating customers for Genius bar appointments, and allowing consumers to be informed of a repaired product ready for pickup. This deeper integration of services will reportedly be implemented after the initial roll out of the updated Apple Store app and iBeacons, and would allow for greater accuracy in locating customers within stores compared to the capabilities of the current app.

The company is also looking to integrate an indoor mapping feature in a future version of Maps for iOS, which would help users navigate through buildings and stores, and could also be used with iBeacon technology to provide greater information within an area. A report in September stated that Apple was working on tapping into the power of the M7 motion coprocessor to add additional mapping enhancements in future software updates, and it is possible that indoor mapping and iBeacon technology could work in cohesion with the motion-sensing chip for greater mapping information overall.

Earlier this year, Apple was said to be collaborating with Major League Baseball to utilize iBeacon APIs to enhance its MLB.com At the Ballpark app to create interactive experiences for its fans at stadiums. 9To5Mac also notes that Apple is also rumored to be testing a program allowing iOS developers to easily integrate the iBeacon API into third-party apps. While iBeacons can be currently implemented into existing apps by iOS developers, Apple has yet to provide a straightforward development program for the API.

Article Link: Apple Retail Stores to Integrate iBeacon Systems to Assist with Sales and Services
 
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ob81

macrumors 65816
Jun 11, 2007
1,406
356
Virginia Beach
These are the things that are going to set the iPhone miles ahead of competitors.

I can't wait to see the full power of iOS 7.
 
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LukasValine

macrumors regular
Nov 5, 2013
149
578
I wonder when Apple will start selling iBeacons to the public. This could be really useful for small businesses. Walk into a restaurant and their menu shows up on your iPhone...
 
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iapplelove

Suspended
Nov 22, 2011
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East Coast USA
i wanna buy about 20 ibeacons and put them all around my house. then i can put them all around my work too, have custom settings for each room. i wonder what possibilities lay ahead.
 
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afin

macrumors member
Feb 17, 2012
98
1
Definitely an impressive application of the powers of low power bluetooth. Apple's R&D continues to fascinate me.

i wanna buy about 20 ibeacons and put them all around my house. then i can put them all around my work too, have custom settings for each room. i wonder what possibilities lay ahead.
This is a neat idea. Kudos.
 
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proline

macrumors 6502a
Nov 18, 2012
630
1
Wanna boost product sales? Just fix the damn icons.
Let a grown-up do the work this time!
LOL, you're funny. I hope Apple keeps them like they are for years just to annoy the grinches out there :p
 
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Carmenia83

macrumors 6502
Feb 25, 2012
369
484
Would this work similar to Samsung's NFC TecTiles? Because that's a pretty cool feature I'd like to have on my iPhone.
 
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Matthew Yohe

macrumors 68020
Oct 12, 2006
2,199
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Would this work similar to Samsung's NFC TecTiles? Because that's a pretty cool feature I'd like to have on my iPhone.

Nope. NFC requires your device be within 4 inches or so to communicate. iBeacons are all based on the Bluetooth LE 4.0 standard, and can have a varying range of around 160 ft.
 
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LukasValine

macrumors regular
Nov 5, 2013
149
578
Wanna boost product sales? Just fix the damn icons.
Let a grown-up do the work this time!

You know, some people actually like the flat icons. I for one wasn't a big fan of the glossy, bubbly textures.
 
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springsup

macrumors 65816
Feb 14, 2013
1,150
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According to the report, the integration of iBeacons within Apple's stores will be used in cohesion with a future update to the Apple Store app, which can give detailed information on a product when a user walks near an item.

That's very cool. Imagine something like this at a supermarket - checking products against your allergies/diet requirements.
 
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KdParker

macrumors 601
Oct 1, 2010
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Everywhere
the future is now...only a matter of time before we billboards start sending us custom adds.
 
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embraceware

macrumors member
Jan 14, 2008
35
24
I wonder when Apple will start selling iBeacons to the public. This could be really useful for small businesses. Walk into a restaurant and their menu shows up on your iPhone...

You can buy iBeacon sensors from a few companies now, such as http://estimote.com. They also have software that lets you turn any Bluetooth LE iOS device into an iBeacon. Small businesses are already starting to implement this.
 
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scott523

macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2006
850
101
Saint Charles, MO
Perhaps this is why the Walnut Street Apple Store in Philadelphia haven't had their Genius reservation and check-in systems enabled but instead, have a check-in Genius desk when I had my MBP in for repair this week. When I look at my Apple Store app for check-in, it just informs me to visit a specialist.

Long story short, the Apple Store app simply didn't work with Genius.
 
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viperGTS

macrumors 68000
Nov 15, 2010
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This is only the beginning for iBecaons. I'm looking forward to all the creative ideas developers will create with these. Definitely one of iOS 7's least known and most potentially useful features. :)
 
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