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Apple stockpiling iBeacons to revolutionise retail

Apple is readying the implementation of iBeacon technology in retail stores across the United States that it hopes will revolutionise the shopping experience.

9to5Mac reports that Apple has started “stocking up” on the transmitters and over the coming days it will start to install them in its Apple Stores across the US before a worldwide roll out in due course.

Apple will put the sensors on the tables that its products sit on inside its retail locations as well as the shelves from which accessories either hang or are placed.

Technology will let customers approach products and receive a notification sent to a phone or tablet that informs them of additional information on the products in front of them.

In addition to this customers could receive notifications pertaining to a workshop session based around one of its flagship devices such as the iMac, MacBook Pro or iPad.

To receive the alerts users will have to be running the latest version of its software, iOS 7, and make sure that Bluetooth 4.0 is switched on with iPhone owners able to turn off the alerts if they wish to do so.

Sources told 9to5Mac that Apple is researching other ways in which it can use the technology such as locating customers waiting for a Genius Bar appointment and presenting customers targeted ads about deals on products in store.

Additionally Apple is testing out using the technology to let Apple customers know that a repaired item is ready to be collected if they are in the vicinity of the Apple Retail Store location.

iBeacons are particularly interesting for developers with Ben Reed, head of technology at Mubaloo, admitting in September that the “buzz within the developer community is enormous” concerning the iBeacon technology.

The transmitters are able to be easily adopted by third-party adopters with Major League Baseball already testing them out in stadiums across the US and Canada, and Android apps supporting iBeacons rumoured to be in development.