iBeacon in a new addition to iOS 7 that wasn’t highlighted much during keynotes, but holds a lot of promise due to its ability to deliver extremely precise locations indoors, where GPS usually fails. Exact Editions, a UK based company, is using this technology to let users download select magazine titles for free in certain areas.
The tech is very handy in a number of scenarios, as in a coffee shop for instance, where the establishment could subscribe and enable access to full magazines to patrons who come in. It’s made even more convenient with the addition of iBeacons on iOS, as the whole digital handshake can happen automatically, providing the user with the best possible and most frictionless experience. Another possible use is in modernizing the doctor’s office, offering up publications in the waiting room that are more useful and more current than five-year old issues of Good Housekeeping.
The first implementation of the program will go live at Bar Kick, London, with soccer magazine When Saturday Comes and fashion magazine ‘Dazed & Confused being part of the promotion. Of course publishers won’t be giving away their content for free, they’ll be paid by the owners of places like Bar Kick.
To create this experience though, business owners will have to deploy tiny iBeacon triggers throughout their location, which will let iPhones and iPads locate themselves to a high degree of precision.
Apple’s looking to integrate iBeacon technology into its own Apple Store app, that’ll let customers get easy access to location-based information and services. The technology has already been implemented by MLB and Macy’s.