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  • Apple Retail Stores to Integrate iBeacons to Help with Sales and Customer Service


    At the keynote during its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple mentioned that iBeacon microlocation APIs as a new part of its SDK. The APIs are designed to access location data through the Bluetooth Low Energy profile on iOS devices. The company seems to be preparing to integrate iBeacon systems into its retail locations, which will initially help with customer sales and later be implemented to assist with in-store services such as workshops and Genius Bar appointments. According to the report, the integration of iBeacons within Appleís stores will be used in cohesion with a future update to the Apple Store app. Although Apple currently utilizes interactive iPad displays for many of its first-party products in-store, the updated Apple Store app would help get users get information about the many products on shelves.

    Furthermore, Apple is 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. The more involved integration of services will reportedly be implemented after the initial roll out of the updated Apple Store app and iBeacons, also allowing for greater accuracy in locating customers within stores compared to the capabilities of the current app.

    As of right now, Apple 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, with the potential of being used with iBeacon technology to provide greater information within an area. A previous report mentioned that Apple was working on tapping into the power of the M7 motion coprocessor to add additional mapping enhancements in future software updates. Itís possible that indoor mapping and iBeacon technology could work together with the motion-sensing for greater mapping information overall.

    For those of you who donít remember, the Cupertino California company is 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 fans who go to the stadium. The folks over at 9to5Mac are also noting that Apple is rumored to be testing a program allowing iOS developers to easily integrate the iBeacon API into third-party apps. Although iBeacons can be currently implemented into existing apps by iOS developers, Apple hasnít provided a development program for the API.

    Itíll be interesting to see what comes of the whole ordeal as it seems like a step forward when it comes to bringing consumers convenience.

    Source: 9to5Mac
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Retail Stores to Integrate iBeacons to Help with Sales and Customer Service started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. quidam_brujah's Avatar
      quidam_brujah -
      Fantastic! Been waiting for some indoor mapping technology that can work with 'Find Friends' so I can locate my wife within the mall or a specific store. Maybe extend it to parking lots so I can find my car...
    1. jOnGarrett's Avatar
      jOnGarrett -
      Quote Originally Posted by quidam_brujah View Post
      Fantastic! Been waiting for some indoor mapping technology that can work with 'Find Friends' so I can locate my wife within the mall or a specific store. Maybe extend it to parking lots so I can find my car...
      Google Maps has had indoor mapping for a while now. I think since early 2012.
    1. Feanor64's Avatar
      Feanor64 -
      Great commercials on my iPhone now
    1. quidam_brujah's Avatar
      quidam_brujah -
      Quote Originally Posted by jOnGarrett View Post
      Google Maps has had indoor mapping for a while now. I think since early 2012.
      And that's great -- for Google. And for those few places that gps doesn't work well and has or offers no wifi? And by few I mean a startling large number of. The problem with the google solution is they use proprietary 'magic' for their location. They don't tell anyone how it works, how to provide better accuracy or how they too can take advantage of it (read: APIs). Other than that, google's solution is great!

      And here's everything you can learn about it:

      https://support.google.com/gmm/answe..._topic=1685871

      I've been to some of those places. A HUGE blue circle on the map doesn't get me to within the potential inches that iBeacon does. And having a published set of APIs means third party can go nuts using it in ways Apple may not have originally intended it. Google 'apple iBeacon API' and see what kinds of questions devs are asking to get an idea. It's stuff like this (each vendor doing their own thing) that evolves into standards anyhow. But the guys that get the jump on apps and use cases tend to be the long term winners.