US retail-giant Macy's will become the first to use Apple's iBeacon to push special offers and recommendations to customers' iPhones when they walk through the door.
The iBeacon feature was debuted as part of iOS 7 in June. We've explained it in-depth before, but essentially it could be the nail in the coffin of NFC.
Say you own an iPhone 5S and you're walking by a Macy's that has a beacon: when you enter that beacon's zone, it will transmit special promotions, coupons, recommendations, etc, to your iPhone 5S via the Macy's app. Beacons will also accept payments, so you can pay for a shirt without having to bump or tap your phone against anything.
To get iBeacon working in its stores, Macy's has partnered with Shopkick's new ShopBeacon to implement the technology. Its NYC Herald Square and San Francisco Union Square will be the first, and we presume more stores will follow. ShopBeacon will be available to retailers for $40 and is designed to be mounted on walls or any flat surface, says GigaOM.
It's not clear how quickly Macy's will roll out the technology, as it seems like a limited trial for now. But if it's deemed a success, it shouldn't be much longer until Macy's and other retailers utilise iBeacon even further to push products.