by Jin Kim
But I circled the entire store, visiting every section for several minutes at a time, and not once did a prompt appear. As usual, the Apple Store app knew which store I was standing in, but that’s not a new feature. When it came to iBeacon notifications, nothing came through — regardless of how long I stood in front of the iPhones on display. I locked my phone and woke it up several times to no avail. Puzzled, I asked an employee for help. He checked to make sure my iPhone 5S had all the required settings enabled (it did), and even pointed to a table under which a transmitter had been installed. Nothing.
Unimpressed, even for beta. Most Apple Stores are small enough to have the entire store in your view, but I can imagine an improved version of this service being handy if you combined iBeacon with indoor maps for larger multi-level Apple Stores, as well as other large retail stores: “Siri, where can I find iPhone Lightning cables?”
In the past few years, it has gotten user’s payment information by asking them to enter it into ITunes when they bought an app, a video, or some music. This allowed the company to build up a large database of payment details. Then it added iBeacon to every new device it rolled out without asking anything of its users. Later, it pushed users to share their payment information on the device through iCloud keychain by saying it would also synchronize passwords in the process; and finally, it unveiled fingerprinting as an easier way to unlock the iPhone.
iBeacon as an integral component to developing a revolutionary way of how we pay for things? I can see that happening. The Apple Store has gotten rid of the cash register stand and replaced it with Apple retail staff using iPod touches (or are they iPhones?) retrofitted to work as mobile cash registers. And in the future Apple retail staff with mobile cash registers will be replaced with us, the customers, carrying iPhones and iPads with Touch ID.