Apple set to launch iBeacons in U.S. retail stores from today

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!

Source: AP

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Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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Reader comments

Apple set to launch iBeacons in U.S. retail stores from today


I think this is an interesting way to help customers as well as advertise. If this is implement correctly it could be useful. If not, it could be annoying. I'm interested to see how this technology is used and hear some feedback from users.

I agree. I wonder if Apple will have any say/control over how it is implemented? I would love for it to be store/app specific, that way if say Target starts spamming me every time I walk in the store, I can turn it off for just them.

I imagine the Apple implementation will be a template for others as well. Here is an ideal implementation. To see it in action, visit one of our stores.

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If they are notifications tied to an app, then you could turn them off by disabling notifications for that app - unless Apple makes a user-level distinction between iBeacon notifications and standard push notifications, but it does not seem like they do.

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I'm also very interested to hear from those who have already visited an Apple Store and have tried it out.
And, I'm surprised to hear that they would implement this on all 254 US stores at the same time. I thought it would have been better just to try it out on a select few locations to see what the feedback would be like then go from there. Does Apple always do it like this wherein whenever they have to make some changes/improvements on their stores, they try to do it simultaneously on all locations?

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Awesome. I am excited about the possibilities- this seems to just be the beginning

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This should be a cool feature. I will try it out next week when I pick up my iPad stand.

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