According to a new report, Apple is all set to launch iBeacons in its retail stores beginning today. With a silent update to the Apple Store iPhone application pushed out on the backend, Apple has already been demonstrating the technology to members of the press. Barbara Ortutay of the Associated Press witnessed it first hand:
The company demonstrated the technology to The Associated Press this week at its busy, 24-hour Fifth Avenue store in New York City. At this particular store, Apple has installed about 20 iBeacon transmitters, some of which are simply iPhones and iPads, which come with the capability as part of the iOS 7 mobile software released in September.
All 254 U.S. stores are said to be going live today, with no mention of when we might see the same venture out elsewhere around the globe. With the latest version of the app installed, Bluetooth enabled and agreeing to let Apple track your location and send notifications, you'll be guided around local Apple store:
The beacons can be adjusted to specific distances, so you may get some notifications regardless of where you are inside. Others will come only when you are standing at a particular aisle, wall or product demo table. The store can also send out notifications about deals or upcoming events.
If Apple wants to push the technology hard, then it's only fitting that it is one of the first major adopters to show how its done. We've heard tales of other sources planning use of iBeacons too such as the MLB and a digital publishing agency to deliver Newsstand content. We're interested to see how it pans out, and while Apple's may not be the most imaginative use of iBeacons, there's going to be a lot more as time moves on.
If you swing by your local Apple Store today and experience the iBeacons first hand, drop us a line in the comments and share the experience with us!