When Apple announced iOS 8 along with its new iPhone 6 earlier this year, users rejoiced about a plethora of new features. But for many marketers, the previous year's release of iOS 7 had already brought a present with the potential to change the mobile marketing landscape: iBeacon.
In short, it's a Bluetooth feature on mobile devices running iOS 7 or 8 that lets businesses know when the phone is close. These businesses can install iBeacons on locations such as checkout counters or product displays, which can send out low-energy Bluetooth signals to mobile devices with the feature enabled. For a product display, that could mean getting a special offer alert as the phone owner walks by. In a museum, you may get a link to more information about a displayed artifact.
For now, it's a technology with nearly unlimited potential but limited use. So far, Apple has only made iBeacon transmitters available for a limited number of U.S. retail stores; it's clear that the company wants to iron out the kinks before releasing the technology to the general public.
But once that happens, look out. First, the technology could work very well with the new Apple pay, simplifying mobile payments by transmitting signals to checkout counters based on credit card information you have scanned in. Second, the advertising options are nearly limitless. We're explained the obvious above; a product display alerting your phone of its presence as you walk by. But the communication could also go the other way, as the product display could show a message designed specifically for you.
In short, the potential of iBeacon make the technology well worth monitoring. And once it's released to the public and bug-free, we'll be happy to help you implement it into your business strategy! Contact Red Shark Digital today for your consultation.