Transcript of "2013 10 16 Mindshare digital pov apple ibeacon"
& Jeff Malmad
Apple announced iBeacon as a feature of iOS 7 at the WWDC in June. Apple has given no details about it and it
was only mentioned in the keynote once, but it could have a profound impact on the retail-to-mobile,
contextual and in-store shopping experience.
The Facts: What You Need To Know
iBeacon is Apple’s branded name for a new Bluetooth Low Energy technology standard and will be
included on all new Apple phones.
iBeacons are also Bluetooth-enabled micro-locations systems – actual physical transmitters. Think of them
as NFC on steroids. They not only have a better range than NFC transmitters, up to 50m against just a few
inches, but they also enable a wider range of data services. They can be used by retailers, museums and
businesses to serve highly relevant interactions to their customers’ iPhones and iOS devices – from
coupons and personalized pricing to actual payment.
The iOS 7 SDK (software development kit) features iBeacon. The iBeacon functionality will be built into
apps for iOS 7, meaning that if a consumer has your app and it is iBeacon-enabled, an iBeacon will alert
the app that your customer is in a particular physical location and allow you to serve them offers.
Customized location-based communication. Customized, in-store retail-to-mobile marketing is much closer
to being a reality than we think. The difference between failed past attempts through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or NFC is
that those technologies were never adopted in a scalable way. Through Apple’s app ecosystem with roughly
1M apps and almost 500MM iOS devices sold to-date, mass scale is now attainable. For example, imagine
walking into your local store with an iPhone 5S or 5C. If that store has enabled an iBeacon zone, it can
transmit customized coupons or even walking directions to the aisle where a particular item is located. It can
prompt a customer with special promotions or a personalized messages and recommendations based on their
current location or past history with the company. (Source: GigaOM 9.10.13)
The technology will not be hard to integrate and will have scale. Apple is not taking on the burden of
producing and developing its own iBeacons. Instead, it is creating an essentially semi-open but still Applewalled-garden for the iBeacon platform by creating the standards for the technology and embedding it into its
OS, then inviting other vendors to build the actual iBeacon devices. For a clearer picture of how iBeacons can
work, here is a demo imagined by iBeacon vendor/start-up Estimote: http://bit.ly/1b2TH6b
Right place, right message, right context takes on a different meaning. In the internet of things and the
age of context, iBeacon can bring to life the ‘right message, right time’ dream for marketers, at scale, and
personalized to individual shoppers. It can even facilitate payments so store wait times may be a thing of the
past (Think of the current experience of paying through your iPhone when checking out of a physical Apple
The barrier to entry and long term impact are yet to be experienced. This is especially true when one considers
that iBeacons can run for two years on a single coin battery charge, come with an accelerometer, flash
memory, a powerful processor and have Bluetooth connectivity. The age of context has barely just begun.
Further Reading & References:
MLB to use iOS 7′s iBeacons in stadiums to create interactive experience for fans;
The Dark Side of Apple’s iBeacon;
Inside iOS 7: iBeacons enhance apps' location awareness via Bluetooth LE.