It was September 10, a day after the release of iPhone 6 and Apple Watch in California, Apples’ CEO Tim Cook could not be happier about reactions from audience and the media.
He confirmed to Bloomberg in a nice interview that Apple Watch’ users will be able to be tracked via Bluetooth signals as they walk around. This is actually predicted but it becomes more interesting that Apple saying it publicly. Cook said, “And of course, we have iBeacon over on the side that a lot of people have forgotten about—a very interesting technology that we’re using in our stores. And you can imagine a future connection there that is interesting.”
In shopping malls, people who wear Apple Watch will be tracked via Bluetooth signals and immediately will get notifications from the closer stores who think them probably in the mood to buy something. For example, you walk to Macys stores and Macys app on your phone or watch may suggest you some interesting offers that day for you.
The tracking system on Apple Watch will be as similar as on Apples’ iPhone. It combines Bluetooth 4.0, iBeacon, and NFC (Near Field Communication). Then what’s new in Apple Watch? According to Apple press release, there are the Bluetooth, iBeacon and NFC combo.Previously, iPhone users could be tracked by iBeacons if they had their Bluetooth switched on. (Keep it off and you’re invisible.) But even if an iBeacon detected you, all it did was send a signal to an app that could alert you. It was effective – as in the Macys example, it could send people an offer for any dresses – but it would be ineffective because the iBeacon alert them to pay in cash.
Furthermore, now an Apple watch or iPhone 6 user might get a signal from a beacon, that might trigger an app to send the user an offer, and the user can use Apple Pay (which uses NFC) to complete the purchase. Then marketers will be able to see exactly how successful their tracking of Apple customers is, and which types of offers work best.
There is no limited scope in iBeacon technology, you can use in any physical location where sending out a signal might be useful. The beacons themselves don’t actually record your location. It might be happen on your phone or patch since you switch on the Bluetooth and the signal integrates with the apps you’re signed in to.
All in all, this situation will create a great numbers of data on users shopping habits. Theoretically, it will produce more map of the indoors of large public buildings which use iBeacon.