Ah, technology. Is there anything it can’t do? I remember when cutting edge tech included cassette tapes, VCRs, and TVs with remotes that weren’t tethered to the set.
Fast-forward a bunch of years and your portable touchscreen telecommunications device, or "iPhone", now knows a frankly worrying amount of contextual stuff about Apple stores, thanks to something called iBeacon. I’m scared.
iBeacon essentially serves to enhance your shopping experience in Apple stores. Or, to put it another way: it serves to make buying Apple stuff a whole lot easier.
Via the official Apple Store app, iBeacon tracks your location within the store, and relays information about nearby products. Presumably stuff along the lines of: “This iMac costs nearly two grand, but you know you want it.”
A further feature automatically checks if you’re eligible for an upgrade when you happen to approach the iPhone section.
It all sounds very Near Field Communication (NFC), but iBeacon actually uses Low Energy Bluetooth (BLE).
At present, iBeacon is rolling out across Apple’s 254 stores throughout the US, but with the UK second in terms of store numbers, I imagine we won’t be far behind.