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Retail Tech

30 Jun | iBeacon: major retail opportunity or major flop?

Every few years, a technology will come along that’s seen as revolutionary for retail. One of the more recent ones was the iBeacon. Only a couple of years ago, it was hailed as the best thing since sliced bread. Apple created this technology which allows mobile apps to spot when an iPhone is close to a wireless sensor known as an iBeacon (there are other versions of the tech). The beacon sends data to the iPhone using Bluetooth Low Energy. The iPhones can also send data back to the beacon. While iBeacons were originally seen as the potential saviour of the high street, two years on and they’re still not the norm, as was predicted by many. However, things are changing again: “By the first quarter of 2016, 6.2 million sensors had been deployed globally. When the second quarter rolled around, 2 million more had popped up, bringing the global total to 8.27 million. At the current pace of installation, 400 million will be broadcasting globally by 2020.”

Looks like the tide is turning for the iBeacon, but is it everything it’s cracked up to be? Let’s explore some of the pros and cons for retailers…