Yes you looking at the Ragu!
We have all be using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) for some time. We started this journey with Garmins, Tom Tom’s and other devices specific to on dash installation. They worked pretty well but you needed to continuously update the street files to get the most out of these devices. Then the car companies started to install in dash navigation systems. I do not know about you, but these interfaces always seemed complex and unusable to me.
Then of course, these capabilities became part of our smartphone applications. We first had Google Maps, MapQuest, AmAze and of course Apple Maps (Much better now) Then we were introduced to social GPS with Waze, but they were purchased fast by Google. All great apps and all free. Are you spending any money on Garmins or Tom Tom’s anymore? Not me 🙂 And of course our phones themselves have Location Based Services, so retailers and the like know where you are and can send you advertising and other content
Now we are moving this indoors with Apple’s iBeacon technology. What is iBeacon? It is an indoor positioning system; a network of devices used to wirelessly locate objects or people inside a building. Apple has already rolled this technology out to their retail stores. It uses Bluetooth technology, which by the way is of course enabled on all smart phones. Now there is a coincidence 🙂 This technology will provide the retail store with your exact in-store location, enabling them to communicate directly in the moment of your purchase decisions. Yowsa!
On Monday, iBeacons were introduced with supermarkets Safeway and Giant Eagle. inMarket’s (The company providing the solution) iBeacon Mobile to Mortar platform sends out a variety of information to iPhone-owning store visitors, so long as they’ve opted in to use the service via one of its compatible apps, such as CheckPoints. By enabling the service, shoppers can expect to receive notifications to their Apple handset such as discount coupons, loyalty rewards, and reminders about what to pick up. The technology was previously introduced in Macy’s through a relationship with shopping application Shopkick.
We are no longer lost in the supermarket. We know where you are, always.