by Hari Gottipati

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Apple’s location-tracking iBeacon is poised to explode across retail faster than anyone can imagine

at 4:23 PM  |  1 comment


Businessweek reporter Sam Grobart contacted me couple of weeks back to talk about the significance of iBeacon. He is right, iBeacon's had a low profile so far. But I iBeacon's momentum is getting started and going to be exploded faster than anyone can imagine. He highlighted my quote on iBeacon's momentum in this BusinessWeek article - Apple's Location-Tracking iBeacon Is Poised for Use in Retail Sales:


Search Google (GOOG) for “Apple iBeacon” and you won’t get any results from Apple.com. Look for the term on the company’s website, and you’ll get one hit, a link to Apple’s list of trademarks. IBeacon is software that enhances the location-tracking services in an iPhone, an iPad Mini, or any device running iOS 7. For retailers desperate to turn smartphones from distractions into a sales tool, it provides a quick way to target ads and other messages to consumers as they walk through a store. For Apple, it’s a chance to collect valuable shopping data and to build a mobile-payment platform into a dominant retail standard. Apple declined to comment. “IBeacon’s momentum is just getting started,” says Hari Gottipati, an independent tech consultant in Phoenix, “but it’s going to explode faster than anyone can imagine.”
Beyond detecting your entrance, the software could send you messages that lead to a particular garment. “With iBeacons you can target the customers with more personalized offers based on preferences, history, or the current location within the store,” Gottipati says. “The more you personalize, the higher the chances are to up-sell to a customer.” Along with coupons, iBeacon can store credit card information to pay for purchases.

Retailers have to invest some money to make their spaces iBeacon-friendly, but the cost isn’t onerous. IBeacon’s range is about 84,000 square feet, Gottipati says. A typical Macy’s store of 175,000 square feet would need two or three iBeacon transmitters. Third-party manufacturers such as Estimote sell a three-pack for $99. 

Mac Daily News made it as a headline - Apple’s location-tracking iBeacon is poised to explode across retail faster than anyone can imagine:


Grobart reports, “iBeacon is software that enhances the location-tracking services in an iPhone, an iPad Mini, or any device running iOS 7. For retailers desperate to turn smartphones from distractions into a sales tool, it provides a quick way to target ads and other messages to consumers as they walk through a store. For Apple, it’s a chance to collect valuable shopping data and to build a mobile-payment platform into a dominant retail standard… ‘iBeacon’s momentum is just getting started,’ says Hari Gottipati, an independent tech consultant in Phoenix, ‘but it’s going to explode faster than anyone can imagine.’”

eFinanceHub, another news outlet highlighted the iBeacon's momentum in this article - Apple Inc. Launched Location-Tracking iBeacon:


According to Hari Gottipati, an independent tech consultant in Phoenix, it is just start of IBeacon’s but its quest will blow up faster than anyone can visualize. GPS and Wi-Fi tower triangulation were used by iPhones and other Apple mobile devices to track their location before this software. But those technologies are only precise within 30 feet or so. That’s fine for passengers in airports but GPS and Wi-Fi are less functional in smaller spaces such as stores. IBeacon can give location more accurately because it uses Bluetooth Low Energy.
Gottipati says that this software provides opportunity to retailers to target the customers with more personalized offers based on preferences, history, or the current location within the store. Besides coupons, credit card information can be stored on iBeacon for purchases. Near-field communication was anticipated as the next big location-services technology which appeared on some smartphones and tablets running Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Android operating system. It was largely developed by Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK), Philips, and Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) and NFC’s selling point was that you just have to tap your phone onto a cash catalog to make a payment from your online wallet. 

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About the Author

Hari Gottipati is a software professional, distinguished architect, thought leader, consultant, speaker and freelance writer who specializes in Open Systems, Java, internet scale computing/apps, big data, NoSQL, mobile and Internet of Things.

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