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Report: Apple Deploying iBeacons in Its Retail Stores

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 10:38am
Ben Munson

Apple’s iBeacons could be setting up shop in the company’s retail stores soon. 

9to5Mac cited multiple sources saying that Apple will begin placing the Bluetooth-leveraging transmitters throughout its stores, coinciding with an update to the Apple Store mobile application.

Coupled with an application, iBeacons location-based technology can enable functions for the consumer like notifications and touch-free purchases. PayPal recently announced Beacon, an iBeacons dongle that plugs into a power source and that pings any PayPal iPhone users in its proximal cloud and allows them to check in and make purchases through the PayPal app.

According to the report, the iBeacons in the Apple Store will for the time being primarily deliver product info to customers’ iPhone. But the sources indicate that they could eventually be used to send out Genius Bar notifications and updates, offers and advertising, and they could possibly be used for purchases.

Apple’s embrace of Bluetooth for its iBeacons, announced quietly along with iOS 7 this summer, has been seen as another blow for NFC’s mobile payment future.

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