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Macy's begins pilot test of Apple's iBeacon in flagship New York, San Francisco stores - Page 2

post #41 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

1) Spooky, being tracked in a store

There are existing systems that use IR or lasers to track people... but they don't know who you are -- you are just an anonymous dot on an indoor map of a store. If, say, three people hug each other then then separate, they can't differentiate among the 3 different dots.

BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) devices can be recognized individually if they are advertising their unique ID (UUID). Mainly these are used for beacons placed at fixed locations in a store. An iOS device can act as a mobile beacon if it advertises its unique ID (UUID). This is totally anonymous as the UUID has nothing to do with you or your device. You can generate a UUID in several ways -- go to:

http://www.uuidgenerator.net

Every time you reload the page it generates a different UUID. There is a very, very low probability that any two UUIDs will be the same.

So, when your iPhone runs an app that advertises a UUID -- it's unique... that's all. Another app, listening for advertisements detects that there's an unique UUID out there -- but doesn't know what it is or who you are -- just that the UUID is different than any other UUID out there. If you choose (via the app running in your iPhone) you can reveal more info about what kind of device you are, etc.

That's low-level BLE beacons.


Apple iBeacons are a much higher and much tighter implementation.

Your iPhone iBeacon app only listens for UUIDs you are [currently] looking for -- say Macy's, Nordstroms, etc. -- while ignoring Wal-Mart, Target. etc.

Your Phone app can, at your option, advertise your UUID (as defined previously) so you can be tracked, anonymously.

But Apple expects you to detect iBeacons at fixed locations in a store you are listening for (interested in) to alert you to things of interest to you. You can opt in for alerts on items of interest to you, ignore the alerts, or just stop listening.

Hopefully you will buy things (still anonymously)... At some point you will check out and pay for your purchases. if you want to remain anonymous pay cash, or via PayPal [or, in the future] the iTunes store... if not, pay by check or credit card.

In any case, you choose if you are tracked or identified.


Quote:
2) Can't wait for Dick to show us his implementation

3) I like Burberry, where they show additional colours of a dress in the mirror when the woman tries it out in the fitting room
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post #42 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post
 

I doubt that.  Retail is and will be alive and well... it will 'cloudily'  (e.g. Amazon)... But that's no different than what Macy's was 100 years ago... One hundred little shops inside one big one.

 

He meant online retail would take over retail completely.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #43 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by techno View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

 
This would be great at Home Depot.  I can never find the AC filters
Absolutely! Or how about at the grocery store. It scans your shopping list and plans out your route and alerts you when you have reached the item. It keeps a running total $ as you go.

I would hope that it is an opt in type of service. Or I guess I mean you can shut it down when you don't want to be targeted or tracked while shopping. I am cool with it as long as I have full control of MANY privacy settings. 

You do... with Apple's implementation of iBeacons -- you're in total control!
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post #44 of 81
Why even go to the store? Why not just sit at a device all day as the Great and Glorious Cloud collects, analyzes, and mines your entire life. Your wants, your interests, your needs, your quirks, your net worth, and just have everything delivered to your home/work cubicle as the Cloud decides what and when. Wouldn't that be great?
post #45 of 81
Just to confirm, iBeacons uses BTLE? I want to know exactly which radio(s) to turn off before walking into these places.
post #46 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Walking around a store looking at my phone strikes me as a bad experience. Either use an app like Amazon to buy stuff online or walk into a store and open your eyes.

You probably won't be looking at your phone unless you are getting navigation information to stores (or items) of interest.

Say you are looking for shirts and lawnmowers -- you tell the app (select from a list). You can have the app show you how to get from where you are to the correct departments... or you can keep the phone in your pocket as you browse the store. As you approach the shirt or lawnmower department, a beacon (identifying same) will come in range and your app will receive a notification (vibrate and/or audible). You can ignore it if you like, just like any other notification, and leave the phone in your pocket.

A different notification (vibration/sound) could alert you to store specials, etc... In this case you might want to remove the phone from your pocket to retrieve the notification (or not). On receipt of a notification, Siri could tell you that there's a 20% in-store special on men's shirts...
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post #47 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

A different notification (vibration/sound) could alert you to store specials, etc... In this case you might want to remove the phone from your pocket to retrieve the notification (or not). On receipt of a notification, Siri could tell you that there's a 20% in-store special on men's shirts...

 

And therein lies the rub.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #48 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by focher View Post

Just to confirm, iBeacons uses BTLE? I want to know exactly which radio(s) to turn off before walking into these places.

They do, but if you are really concerned about being tracked the cellular, GPS, and WiFi on your devices should be much more of a constant concern than a proprietor looking to sell you some wares whilst in a store. You will also want to get rid of any and all store discount and points cards.
post #49 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post
 

 

Costco stores are also an all-day shopping experience. They move things around often enough to force you to do a complete walkthrough every time you go.

 

I meant in regards to cheaper prices, friendly return policies, and price matching.  All the other stores had to pick up their game to match Costco and Amazon.

 

I see the same thing with this.  Once it takes off at one retailer the others will follow or suffer

post #50 of 81
It's not like anyone is forcing you to have a smartphone and be tracked.
post #51 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by focher View Post

Just to confirm, iBeacons uses BTLE? I want to know exactly which radio(s) to turn off before walking into these places.

Yes, iBeacons uses BTLE!

But you don't need to turn off Bluetooth -- just don't run any apps that are advertising or scanning for beacons.

BTW, exactly the same thing as "beacons" can be (and is, in some places) done with WiFi (at a much higher battery drain)

You could run an app in the background that scans for iBeacons and logs the activity... and when you get home review all the "good deals" you missed.

In fact, an app written like this might be a way to get a gentle introductions to iBeacons.
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post #52 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Ooh, grocery stores will never do this. They’re designed to get you as lost as possible so you’ll buy more. They put the highest traffic items in the back so you’re forced to walk past everything else and go, “Say, mesquite flavor potato chips… What is mesquite? Maybe it’s made from mosquitoes…” No clocks, no windows, no easily accessible exits, and they rotate shelf content roughly once a month to keep people searching.

Competition will force change.  Look what Costco/Amazon has done.  Once a big grocery store adapts this everyone else will have to or face the consequences of being behind

C'mon guys... The potato chips are on the aisle end caps!
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post #53 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Quote:
Competition will force change.  Look what Costco/Amazon has done.  Once a big grocery store adapts this everyone else will have to or face the consequences of being behind

Gosh, I’d hope so. 

I wrote a post a year or two back about how Apple could completely reinvent the entire concept of a store from front end to back and the supply chain in between, not to mention also reinventing and streamlining R&D for products themselves. I’ll never find it again, and I can’t remember what I said, but my thoughts on the matter haven’t changed since. Apple needs to do this. They’re the only company that has the power to get people to actually use such a system.

All your AI posts are logged (for a period of time). You can search them for keywords or access them by approximate date...

I'd like to see your post!
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post #54 of 81
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post
C'mon guys... The potato chips are on the aisle end caps!

 

Not where I live. They’re in the middle back, opposite the soda. 


It’s almost as though those two go together…

 

Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post
All your AI posts are logged (for a period of time).

 

Only a period? I thought AI kept everything. That’s why we keep seeing the “34 hours without sleep” thread from a decade ago.

 

Eh, I should look for it; I liked it.

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The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

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post #55 of 81

Wow. Okay, I knew AI’s search was spectacular, but this is incredible. Already found it. One word search: cashier. I can’t believe I remembered my use thereof.

 

Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Right.


I mean, I can definitely see it being big in authentication… of purchases. Maybe PassBook will become the digital wallet I imagined it would have been initially. Take a picture of the UPC/QR code on a product on the shelf (and maybe this will get UPC kicked off products in favor of QR), put it in your shopping cart, walk to where the cash registers used to be (mommy, what's a cashier?), bag your stuff up (leave in a bin what you decided not to buy; the former cashiers now run customer service for people, answering questions and such, as well as returning these items to the proper shelves), confirm your purchase using your fingerprint, and WALK RIGHT OUT OF THE STORE.

 

When you leave the geofence for that store, your account is automatically billed for the amount. A receipt is sent to your iCloud address under an automatic smart folder "Receipts". 

 

Of course, this requires tens of millions of retailers to get on board with the system, but it provides them instantaneous feedback as to what products sell best, what they need to buy, quantities, etc. And all this gets passed onto the manufacturer as well, so they will know INSTANTLY if a product is becoming a hit or should be discontinued.

 

Imagine how much money it will save!

 

Oh, and from a consumer standpoint, Apple will have made the former actions associated with stealing… legal. It's a neat, tingly feeling—one of suspense and forbiddenness—that customers will latch onto right away due to novelty, so being a part of the system will make retailers more desirable.

 

Imagine… on one of the windows of nearly every store in the country (heck, it would be proudly displayed on banners at first), right next to all the major credit card logos… would be the Apple logo.

 

Just have Apple add one cent to every transaction to cover management and power to the back end hardware. Finally the haters will have a real Apple Tax about which to gripe, but they'll make tens of billions. A month.

 

And

 

Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I agree. I certainly hope there's no dedicated "NFC hardware" in Apple's digital wallet implementation. It has been thrown around a little that they might use Bluetooth, and I certainly hope so, for many reasons.


First, Bluetooth's everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Any other system would have to be built out, and they're not gonna do that. It's just not gonna happen! If it's specialized hardware only on the iPhone, I won't be able to go down to my local grocery store and buy things with my phone for over a decade! And that's even only if the system catches on as a system!

 

Second, people know Bluetooth. I'm not talking users, I'm talking hardware creators. Accessory makers. They understand it already. 

 

Third, Bluetooth makes it possible for EXISTING iPhones to get this feature, too! Having an installed base of users on DAY ONE will make Apple's version succeed. Having to buy more iPhones to do it… will take far longer.

 

I mean, okay, picture this. How's this for the future of purchasing: 

 

You drive to the store. Your iPhone knows where you are and reminds you what you're supposed to get. Not only that, it tells you what aisle those things are in, because the store has networked with Apple and uploaded its product layout to them. So you go to the aisle and find what you want. Pick it up, hold up your iPhone, picture of the QR barcode that has replaced the old style barcode on packaging. Now your iPhone knows what it is (1). Read that footnote first, then continue. You read it? Good, continuing. Not only does your iPhone now know what it is, it's on your list now as 'in your cart', because it probably is physically in your cart by now. Do the same with all the other products you want, and then… walk out. Just walk out. When you reach the boundary of the store geofence, your account is charged for the amount of the products in your cart. Just like an Apple Store today, but with every store. 

 

You want a revolution? They'll give you two. One for consumers, one for store owners. First, Apple has psychologically legitimized the behavior formerly known as stealing. It'll take a few years, but we will completely redefine what it means to buy something in a physical store. No more cashiers, no more cash registers, no conveyor belts, no self-checkout machines that never work. Take it, scan it, walk out. All yourself. And even in advance. Make your list of exactly the products you want, pay for it in advance, and don't even scan it in the store; just in, cart, out. Simple. 

 

Second, since each store's inventory and product location is connected to Apple's servers for the purpose of helping customers find what they want and at the best price and where they want to find it, when a customer makes a purchase, that inventory is deducted from the store's immediately at point of purchase. So store owners can see in real-time at any given time what products from what brands are selling best. This can also be uploaded immediately to the product's manufacturers. Product testbeds can give results in weeks instead of months. Manufacturing can be scaled back on existing products selling poorly and scaled up to meet a temporary or permanent demand for others.

 

(1) Your iPhone now knows this product. It knows you want this product. So it looks around for better prices for this product and tells you if it's cheaper elsewhere or the same price for a greater quantity. Additionally, now that it knows you want this product, in the future when this product is on your list and you get to the store, your iPhone will tell you if this product is currently in stock at the store. Because the store has networked with Apple and allowed Apple devices to check its inventory! And not just Apple devices, ALL devices. You'll see why above.

 

So since there are two, there may be more. I guess I could keep looking.

 

EDIT: Now color coded for the big points I wanted to hit. R&D streamlining, changing the purchasing paradigm, networking of systems, and what Apple gets out of being the one to be managing all this back end.

 

​Some people have said Apple should open a bank. This is as close as they need to get to that, and really it nets them the same thing. 


Edited by Tallest Skil - 11/20/13 at 2:05pm

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #56 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by focher View Post

Just to confirm, iBeacons uses BTLE? I want to know exactly which radio(s) to turn off before walking into these places.

 

If you don't have the app installed... there's no reason to turn anything off. Why is this so hard for people to understand?

 

Even if you did have the app installed, just don't allow it access to your location data - Apple implemented iBeacons as part of Core Location.

Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #57 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post

well crap. like others, i'm hoping that it will be used to help me find what i'm looking for. but instead, right out of the gate, it's being used to track me and market to me. no thanks.

It can't track you if you don't want it to. Neither you or your iPhone (out of the box) is a BLE beacon or an iBeacon.

If you run an app on your iPhone that detects beacons -- it can do that only -- and as far as anyone knows you or your phone are not there,

If you chose to advertise your [device's] existence by running an app advertising your location -- you can be tracked -- but it doesn't know who you are or what your device is... you are anonymous.

If you choose to identify your device and location, potentially you can earn points or credits towards purchases just for being there.

If you chose to identify yourself you can seamlessly make purchases without removing your wallet or credit card.
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post #58 of 81
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Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

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Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

Yes, that's when they'll say Google really missed out on an opportunity. Buy AAPL!

Sorry, but Google is also jumping on the Beacon bandwagon as is every other big retailer, advertiser and data tracking company. iBeacons is just Apple's implementation. BLE-enabled Android and Windows phones will be tracked just as surely as iPhones, and all of them on a much more personal and identifiable level than we probably want possible if we stopped to think about it.

Remember when cookie's were considered an offensive and intrusive tracking tool? We'll end up longing for the days when we thought those were our worst privacy concern.

It depends on the App!

1) iBeacons are exclusive to Apple and do not provide any advertising data that can be used for tracking... An app just listens for iBeacons of interest and takes user-specified action when one is detected.

2) BLE beacons are a lower-level implementation and, likely, both advertise and listen. If they are advertising, they can be tracked -- but they need not advertise any device-specific or user-specific information... In that case they can only be tracked anonymously.

At the users choice, the BLE beacon can advertise the availability of device specific info -- things such as device type, temperature, orientation, battery-level, signal strength, etc. Still anonymous.

At the users choice, the BLE beacon could advertise the availability of user-specific and/od device-specific info -- but this is not likely or necessary... It can be encrypted, though,


An app on an Apple iDevice can use both iBeacons and BLE beacons -- the best of both worlds... and choose to "open the kimono" only to the extent that the user desires.
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post #59 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

This would be great at Home Depot.  I can never find the AC filters.

From the video Phobe must have really small hands. I thought see was using a Samdung at first.

Did you forget where you found them the first time?
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post #60 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post
 

 

'Wrong'. I love your overconfident proclamations.

 

A shopping list is one thing, but this is the store talking over your screen, that can't go well. Apple doing it in an Apple store is one thing, but one of these other guys getting access to your information and attention like that strikes me as something entirely different - in a bad way.

As long as there's individual store opt-in I would think there's no problem.

post #61 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

He meant online retail would take over retail completely.

Never, there's still nothing like trying something on or holding it in your hand.
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post #62 of 81

It's all about the integration. I wouldn't mind if I was shopping in men's and a coupon came up, or a reminder if I had a gift card in passbook. I thought there was talk of integration in ball parks or something like that. To some extent the tracking is good if it enhances the shopping experience. Directs you to your size, or based on past purchases something new you might like. I never shop in stores that much, but it does seem like it could enhance the user experience.

post #63 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post

well crap. like others, i'm hoping that it will be used to help me find what i'm looking for. but instead, right out of the gate, it's being used to track me and market to me. no thanks.

That logic I'll never understand.

First of all, it's not "tracking" you, it's just aware of when you enter a specific area. Second, it has to know this information if you want it to help you find something.

Furthermore...
1. You're in the store shopping, probably planning to purchase something.
2. You've installed the store's app on your mobile device.
3. You've opted in to allow the app access to your location data.
4. You've made lists of things you like/want.

If you're willing to do ALL of that, what the hell else is the store supposed to think you want? 

"First of all, it's not "tracking" you, it's just aware of when you enter a specific area. Second, it has to know this information if you want it to help you find something."

This bit is not, necessarily, true! Your iPhone is aware of the iBeacon -- the iBeacon is not aware of your iPhone.

You can run an app on your iPhone that says "I am interested in the shirt department at Macys". The app listens for specific iBeacons. When you approach an iBeacon in the shirt department, the app recognizes this and takes appropriate action.

Appropriate action might be:
  • vibrate your iPhone and in some voice say: "Duh, you are at the shirt department"
  • via WiFi, look up the Macys web site shirt department to see what's on special and display it on the screen

It is unlikely that you would want to exchange this amount [more than 29 bytes at a time] of information with the iBeacon... You could, but you would be monopolizing the iBeacon and draining its power.

At no time do you need to advertise that you are there (and thus can't be located or tracked).
Edited by Dick Applebaum - 11/20/13 at 3:38pm
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post #64 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

You can generate a UUID in several ways -- go to:

http://www.uuidgenerator.net

Every time you reload the page it generates a different UUID. There is a very, very low probability that any two UUIDs will be the same.

And here I am thinking that someone told me in yesterday's thread that there was no way to alter Android activations. Guess Schmidt can stick it to Google. Again. And again.
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post #65 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

 
Wrong. I do it already with a shopping list app and its great.

'Wrong'. I love your overconfident proclamations.

A shopping list is one thing, but this is the store talking over your screen, that can't go well. Apple doing it in an Apple store is one thing, but one of these other guys getting access to your information and attention like that strikes me as something entirely different - in a bad way.

Sorry, you have a misconception of what an iBeacon is.

For purposes of your example an iBeacon is nothing more than an electronic sign on every product category, on every aisle in the store.

If you wish it could work like this:
  • the store publishes a floor plan of its store
  • you download the floor plan to your shopping list app
  • the app matches your shopping list to the locations of those product categories (iBeacons) in the store
  • you enter the store and the app recognizes an iBeacon
  • the app plots your location on the store map on your iPhone
  • based on your shopping list, the store map on your phone displays the location of the product categories of interest
  • as you navigate the store when you approach an iBeacon for a location of interest, your iPhone buzzes or blinks.

All this can be done without your shopping list app ever leaving the screen -- and you need not Bluetooth advertise that you are there, so the store cannot track you any more than it does now (store cameras, traffic treads, etc).

If you pay cash at checkout, the store has no access to any of your information!
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post #66 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Wow. Okay, I knew AI’s search was spectacular, but this is incredible. Already found it. One word search: cashier. I can’t believe I remembered my use thereof.
Quote:
Right.



I mean, I can definitely see it being big in authentication… of purchases. Maybe PassBook will become the digital wallet I imagined it would have been initially. Take a picture of the UPC/QR code on a product on the shelf (and maybe this will get UPC kicked off products in favor of QR), put it in your shopping cart, walk to where the cash registers used to be (mommy, what's a cashier?), bag your stuff up (leave in a bin what you decided not to buy; the former cashiers now run customer service for people, answering questions and such, as well as returning these items to the proper shelves), confirm your purchase using your fingerprint, and WALK RIGHT OUT OF THE STORE.

When you leave the geofence for that store, your account is automatically billed for the amount. A receipt is sent to your iCloud address under an automatic smart folder "Receipts". 

Of course, this requires tens of millions of retailers to get on board with the system, but it provides them instantaneous feedback as to what products sell best, what they need to buy, quantities, etc. And all this gets passed onto the manufacturer as well, so they will know INSTANTLY if a product is becoming a hit or should be discontinued.

Imagine how much money it will save!

Oh, and from a consumer standpoint, Apple will have made the former actions associated with stealing… legal. It's a neat, tingly feeling—one of suspense and forbiddenness—that customers will latch onto right away due to novelty, so being a part of the system will make retailers more desirable.

Imagine… on one of the windows of nearly every store in the country (heck, it would be proudly displayed on banners at first), right next to all the major credit card logos… would be the Apple logo.

Just have Apple add one cent to every transaction to cover management and power to the back end hardware. Finally the haters will have a real Apple Tax about which to gripe, but they'll make tens of billions. A month.

And

Quote:
I agree. I certainly hope there's no dedicated "NFC hardware" in Apple's digital wallet implementation. It has been thrown around a little that they might use Bluetooth, and I certainly hope so, for many reasons.



First, Bluetooth's everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Any other system would have to be built out, and they're not gonna do that. It's just not gonna happen! If it's specialized hardware only on the iPhone, I won't be able to go down to my local grocery store and buy things with my phone for over a decade! And that's even only if the system catches on as a system!

Second, people know Bluetooth. I'm not talking users, I'm talking hardware creators. Accessory makers. They understand it already. 

Third, Bluetooth makes it possible for EXISTING iPhones to get this feature, too! Having an installed base of users on DAY ONE will make Apple's version succeed. Having to buy more iPhones to do it… will take far longer.

I mean, okay, picture this. How's this for the future of purchasing: 

You drive to the store. Your iPhone knows where you are and reminds you what you're supposed to get. Not only that, it tells you what aisle those things are in, because the store has networked with Apple and uploaded its product layout to them. So you go to the aisle and find what you want. Pick it up, hold up your iPhone, picture of the QR barcode that has replaced the old style barcode on packaging. Now your iPhone knows what it is (1). Read that footnote first, then continue. You read it? Good, continuing. Not only does your iPhone now know what it is, it's on your list now as 'in your cart', because it probably is physically in your cart by now. Do the same with all the other products you want, and then… walk out. Just walk out. When you reach the boundary of the store geofence, your account is charged for the amount of the products in your cart. Just like an Apple Store today, but with every store. 

You want a revolution? They'll give you two. One for consumers, one for store owners. First, Apple has psychologically legitimized the behavior formerly known as stealing. It'll take a few years, but we will completely redefine what it means to buy something in a physical store. No more cashiers, no more cash registers, no conveyor belts, no self-checkout machines that never work. Take it, scan it, walk out. All yourself. And even in advance. Make your list of exactly the products you want, pay for it in advance, and don't even scan it in the store; just in, cart, out. Simple. 

Second, since each store's inventory and product location is connected to Apple's servers for the purpose of helping customers find what they want and at the best price and where they want to find it, when a customer makes a purchase, that inventory is deducted from the store's immediately at point of purchase. So store owners can see in real-time at any given time what products from what brands are selling best. This can also be uploaded immediately to the product's manufacturers. Product testbeds can give results in weeks instead of months. Manufacturing can be scaled back on existing products selling poorly and scaled up to meet a temporary or permanent demand for others.

(1) Your iPhone now knows this product. It knows you want this product. So it looks around for better prices for this product and tells you if it's cheaper elsewhere or the same price for a greater quantity. Additionally, now that it knows you want this product, in the future when this product is on your list and you get to the store, your iPhone will tell you if this product is currently in stock at the store. Because the store has networked with Apple and allowed Apple devices to check its inventory! And not just Apple devices, ALL devices. You'll see why above.

So since there are two, there may be more. I guess I could keep looking.

EDIT: Now color coded for the big points I wanted to hit. R&D streamlining, changing the purchasing paradigm, networking of systems, and what Apple gets out of being the one to be managing all this back end.

​Some people have said Apple should open a bank. This is as close as they need to get to that, and really it nets them the same thing. 

Good posts!

Oddly, IBM was working on something like this with Safeway, the Big Red "S"... in 1971... before barcodes.
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post #67 of 81
And how would this work during the crazy xmas rush? Give me a break.
post #68 of 81
God, the woman in that ad was obnoxious, the way she did such dramatic gesture to touch the screen/swipe, as well as her ridiculous facial expressions.
post #69 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Of course they will. No one would expect any different. The retailers using beacons along with their partner advertisers/data aggregators/data analyzers will be doing the same thing. Even Apple.

This is all about discovering more precise information about you specifically and personally in order to get deeper into your pockets. Who you are, where you are, where you've been, what you were doing, what you've eaten, what you've bought, and where you're probably going next.

If you hate the relatively innocuous discovery that cookies offer....

Maybe the bulb will go on for other people when they realize that the actual gathering of personal information is not as significant as how that information is used, or perhaps more importantly, which entity is controlling that info. Apple has a reputation for maintaining privacy, whereas companies like google (who rely on this info as their primary source of income) have a reputation for being sneaky, creepy, and dishonest about privacy.

   

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post #70 of 81
So the Mets are going to use it at Citi Field this coming season? Does that mean I can tell them to get a decent pitching staff for a change???? (longtime fan here).
post #71 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

It depends on the App!

1) iBeacons are exclusive to Apple and do not provide any advertising data that can be used for tracking... An app just listens for iBeacons of interest and takes user-specified action when one is detected.

2) BLE beacons are a lower-level implementation and, likely, both advertise and listen. If they are advertising, they can be tracked -- but they need not advertise any device-specific or user-specific information... In that case they can only be tracked anonymously.

At the users choice, the BLE beacon can advertise the availability of device specific info -- things such as device type, temperature, orientation, battery-level, signal strength, etc. Still anonymous.

At the users choice, the BLE beacon could advertise the availability of user-specific and/od device-specific info -- but this is not likely or necessary... It can be encrypted, though,


An app on an Apple iDevice can use both iBeacons and BLE beacons -- the best of both worlds... and choose to "open the kimono" only to the extent that the user desires.

Since you unblocked me for the moment to read and reply I'll offer my comments.

Dick, all of us appreciate the time you're taking to explain Beacons and how they are implemented. As you've noted Apple isn't the only company involved with Beacons. You've made them sound quite helpful, friendly and innocuous and for many I'm sure they will be just as using Facebook or Google or Twitter or whatever is. What you haven't mentioned and something I'd love to get your perspective on is this:

Macy (as an example) doesn't exist in a vacuum. They have fairly deep relationships with Facebook, Google, Pinterest and other social sites with agreements to share/obtain certain personal and/or non-personal information. They also work with the credit bureaus, various advertisers, marketers etc. Shoppers are highly unlikely to always deal in cash as well as avoid anything else that links their unique ID with a name. That's the golden ring afterall so Macy will more likely than not figure out who you are if you visit often enough, even using cash. Now combine the very personalized shopping details they've collected with other data they've contracted from other providers. Then share some of the information gathered during your shopping trip with 3rd parties for "analytics" and social profiles. Then it's furthered mixed together with similar retailer/restaurant info from others you visit that also use beacons. Then that's thrown together with your on-line profile, credit bureau data, insurance data, etc etc. How big can it get and how can you possibly hope to control it?

Beacons will hardly be another innocuous nor tiny layer of "user intelligence gathering" that's easy to avoid IMO. There's solid reasons why retailers are excited by what Beacons bring to the table and the possibilities going forward. Being "invisible" to them isn't one.
Edited by Gatorguy - 11/21/13 at 7:07am
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post #72 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatchyThePirate View Post

Maybe the bulb will go on for other people when they realize that the actual gathering of personal information is not as significant as how that information is used, or perhaps more importantly, which entity is controlling that info. Apple has a reputation for maintaining privacy, whereas companies like google (who rely on this info as their primary source of income) have a reputation for being sneaky, creepy, and dishonest about privacy.

Apple is just one of many benefiting from more granular user information gathered from Beacons and who share at least some of it with dozens of 3rd parties. It's not Apple's data to own and control nor do I think they want to. In the end the only thing I think Apple wants to control is how you pay for those services and products using Beacons. Otherwise how far retailers want to go with it is up to them within limits and the shopping data they collect is theirs to do with as they wish in accordance with that retailers Privacy Policy (Dick correct me if that's wrong)

But I don't think the idea behind Beacons is a bad one and there will be lots of benefits to shoppers and retailers alike. And like free services on the web there will be millions who will trade just a little more of their private lives for a little convenience and some "free goodies". The problem is who knows how far the details of your Macy visit travel. It's certainly further than Apple or even Google, and those two would hardly be the ones I'd worry about anyway.
Edited by Gatorguy - 11/20/13 at 6:42pm
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post #73 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

All this can be done without your shopping list app ever leaving the screen -- and you need not Bluetooth advertise that you are there, so the store cannot track you any more than it does now (store cameras, traffic treads, etc).

If you pay cash at checkout, the store has no access to any of your information!

A scenario completely useless for Google, then.
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post #74 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

God, the woman in that ad was obnoxious, the way she did such dramatic gesture to touch the screen/swipe, as well as her ridiculous facial expressions.

 

really. Go buy a Nexus7 (joking)

post #75 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Yes, iBeacons uses BTLE!

But you don't need to turn off Bluetooth -- just don't run any apps that are advertising or scanning for beacons.

BTW, exactly the same thing as "beacons" can be (and is, in some places) done with WiFi (at a much higher battery drain)

You could run an app in the background that scans for iBeacons and logs the activity... and when you get home review all the "good deals" you missed.

In fact, an app written like this might be a way to get a gentle introductions to iBeacons.

"Before today, Shopkick’s business was already a hardware/software double play: the company’s app worked in tandem with a piece of hardware installed in participating stores, and retailers interacted with a dashboard to pass through details and other messaging on them. The hardware worked by emitting very high frequency signals that would trigger actions when a person walked through the doors.

Cyriac Roeding, co-founder and CEO of Shopkick, says that the shopBeacons will work in tandem with that model, and vastly improve it. Offers now will be pinged to users right when they are walking past them, or past a department that contains products that users have shown interest in before. And for those who have opted in, the iBeacon technology will also automatically open the app and can trigger other actions when you enter a participating store, such as telling users how many loyalty points they currently have to redeem towards a purchase (in the past users would have had to remember to do this themselves).
http://techcrunch.com/2013/11/20/shopkick-rolls-out-ibeacon-enabled-shopping-alerts-with-shopbeacon-with-macys-as-its-first-trialist/


That would seem to indicate that opening the retailer/shopKick app isn't necessary to have offers transmitted. Is that correct?

BTW, the TC article has a better description of Macy's beta testing of Beacons.
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post #76 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


Of course they will. No one would expect any different. The retailers using beacons along with their partner advertisers/data aggregators/data analyzers will be doing the same thing. Even Apple.

This is all about discovering more precise information about you specifically and personally in order to get deeper into your pockets. Who you are, where you are, where you've been, what you were doing, what you've eaten, what you've bought, and where you're probably going next.

If you hate the relatively innocuous discovery that cookies offer....

It's worse than that.   If it were just advertising, maybe that wouldn't be so bad, although I find it extremely annoying and disconcerting when I see customized ads on sites in which Google (or whoever) is using cookies from other sites to determine where I've been.   Personally, I think it should be illegal for any site to look at cookies that they didn't write.     

 

I don't mind when my buying patterns are combined with everyone else's to establish useful data for companies to market, even if that data is getting resold for a profit, but I mind greatly when my individual data is available to anyone willing to pay for it.

 

This type of data can eventually be used against you.   "Oh, he/she buys lots of high fat foods and little produce?   Raise his health insurance rates."   "Hmm, she seems to buy a lot of alcohol?   Maybe she's an abuser and will have a bad liver in the future.   Don't hire her."    "Oh, he can afford to buy a lot of expensive fashions?   I guess he doesn't need a raise."    Etc.    Personally, I don't use any loyalty cards at retailers.   Most of the time, if you ask, they'll give you the same discount anyway.   They can keep their "points", which are useless most of the time anyway.    If it wasn't so convenient, I'd give up using credit and debit cards as well.    Some bank should come out with a "privacy" credit card - maybe they charge a slightly higher fee, but it guarantees that you won't be personally tracked beyond what is necessary to bill you.   

 

Even with the NSA revelations and the general knowledge about how Facebook and other sites use our data, I don't think people realize how much privacy they're giving up.   

 

Furthermore, such type of interactivity can be extremely annoying.   Let's say a friend has a baby and I buy some baby clothes as a gift.   I really don't want to be plagued with baby clothes offers every time I walk into Macy's.    (The recommendations engine on Amazon pulls this kind of crap.)   Or let's say I stop at a table of jeans and look at them for a moment and the iBeacon recognizes that I did that and might have an interest in jeans, but the jeans I looked at were garbage.   In the future, I don't want Macy's to bother me every time I walk past that same table.    

 

An app that tells me where items are in a large store?  Maybe.     An app where I can scan a barcode of a previously bought item so I can find it again?   That would be fine.    But I don't need or want any interactivity beyond that.   If I can avoid it by not loading a specific app? - that's fine, those who want it can use it.   But if it's built into the OS so it's forced on me?   I'll shut the phone off when I walk into a store.       

post #77 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

Personally, I think it should be illegal for any site to look at cookies that they didn't write.

You do know that cookies were invented just so other sites could view your history. They also existed way before Google did. It's really easy to not allow them or to wipe them.
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post #78 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


You do know that cookies were invented just so other sites could view your history. They also existed way before Google did. It's really easy to not allow them or to wipe them.

Many sites won't work with cookies turned off.  I do wipe them regularly though, although that also wipes out settings on sites.   And they were not invented so other sites could view your history.    They were invented so that a site would know whether or not you had previously visited and what the state was of that last visit.   

post #79 of 81
post #80 of 81
Apple iBeacons 101

Before iBeacons

  1. You decide to go shopping at Macys
  2. You walk up to a store window or aisle that contains a sign with a QR code or web address
  3. You use your phone to scan the QR code or enter the web address
  4. The sign doesn't know you are doing this, who you are, or that you are even there.
  5. The store can use cameras, lasers, sound waves or traffic treads to detect people but they don't identify individuals


With Apple iBeacons (Basic Operation -- no Opt in to anything)

  1. You decide you want to shop at Macys
    • you download the Macys app from the App store
    • You startup the app -- it begins listening for Macys iBeacons
    • You set the app to notify you when a Macys iBeacon is detected
    • Your iPhone, times out, the Macys app goes into the background, and is eventually terminated
    • The "listen for Macys iBeacons" request has been pushed down to the BT radio
  2. You walk up to a store window or aisle that contains a Macys iBeacon
  3. The BT radio on your iPhone recognizes that you are near a Macys iBeacon that you are listening for. Based on your preferences, the iPhone can:
    • do nothing
    • notify you
    • open the Macys app at the relevant page for the specific Macys iBeacon detected.
  4. The iBeacon doesn't know you are doing this, who you are, or that you are even there.
  5. The store can use cameras, lasers, sound waves or traffic treads to detect people but they don't identify individuals


With Apple's implementation of iBeacons, you have to opt-in to allow the App to broadcast any location data or any information about your iPhone, any data about you, or your friends (contacts, etc).
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