Apple’s iBeacon alerts land in grocery stores via inMarket

apple ibeacon grocery stores inmarket

Apple’s location-sensing iBeacon technology appears to be of growing interest to retailers and app developers, with mobile shopping startup inMarket the latest company to announce it’s making use of the tech.

Initially partnering with supermarkets Safeway and Giant Eagle, inMarket’s 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.

“Besides Apple themselves, we are the first to take this groundbreaking technology out of beta tests and into consumers’ lives throughout the heartland of the US,” Todd Dipaola, CEO and co-founder of inMarket, said in a release.

iBeacon, which was unveiled by Apple last year as part of its iOS 7 launch, is widely described as a “micro-location” technology that uses Bluetooth LE to connect iPhones running iOS 7 with small transmitters placed around a store.

Offering greater accuracy than GPS, iBeacon can push messages to users of compatible apps when they reach particular locations inside a store, so a reminder to pick up milk could be sent when you arrive at the dairy section, or a discount coupon could be offered for a particular brand of cakes when you pass by the in-store bakery.

InMarket’s new feature for iPhone users has been available in dozens of Safeway and Giant Eagle stores in Seattle, San Francisco, and Cleveland since Monday, the AP reported this week. However, the mobile shopping startup has plans to expand the service fast, rolling it out to another 150 grocery stores in the next few weeks and thousands more stores of all kinds by the end of this year.

In November, Macy’s became the first store to test out the tech – in partnership with shopping-app company Shopkick – and more recently Apple itself started using iBeacon at all 254 of its US stores, offering visitors timely and relevant information on various products, events, and offers.

It’s still too early to say whether the technology is popular with shoppers, though once it becomes more widely available it’ll certainly be interesting to see just how many smartphone users stick with the service after giving it a try.

Deals

Check out the best Green Monday deals for those last-minute gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you've missed your chance of finding a great deal. We're talking about Green Monday, of course, and it falls on December 10.
Wearables

Our favorite fitness trackers make it fun to keep moving

Looking for your first fitness tracker, or an upgrade to the one you're already wearing? There are plenty of the wrist-worn gadgets available. Here are our picks for the best fitness trackers available right now.
Mobile

Apple's iOS 12.1.1 makes it easier to switch cameras in FaceTime

After months of betas, the final version of iOS 12 is here to download. The latest OS comes along with tons of new capabilities, from grouped notifications to Siri Shortcuts. Here are all the features you'll find in iOS 12.
Deals

The best iPhone deals for December 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for December 2018.
Wearables

How to use the ECG app, set up irregular rhythm notifications on the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch Series 4 is the best smartwatch iPhone owners can own, and it just got even better with the addition of the ECG app and ability to identify irregular heart rhythms. Here's how to set it all up.
Home Theater

Common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.
Mobile

Midrange phones can’t do A.I., but MediaTek’s P90 chip aims to change that

MediaTek has announced the Helio P90 mobile processor, which it says will bring the best A.I. features we see on high-end smartphones, to the mid-range. We spoke to the company about the chip.
Mobile

The LG V40 ThinQ, G7 ThinQ, and Watch W7 are discounted for the holidays

LG announced a series of deals for the holiday season where you can buy the company's two flagship phones, the V40 ThinQ and G7 ThinQ, as well as its latest smartwatch, for between $150 and $200 off, depending on the device.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Mobile

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.
Mobile

G’day, Google: U.S. users can now give Assistant a British or Australian accent

U.S. Google Assistant users can give their Assistant a different voice. Google has updated Assistant with the ability for users to give it either a British or Australian accent, which could make it a little more personal for some.
Music

Tune in to the best internet radio stations for your listening pleasure

Even in the streaming era, radio stations get some of the best exclusives and curate some of the finest handpicked playlists around. Here are the best internet radio stations, for your listening pleasure.
Computing

Microsoft’s latest patent paves the way for Andromeda dual-screen mobile device

The latest patent discovery from Microsoft showcases a new hinge design for quickly opening a dual-screen mobile device with a single hand. Could this be additional proof surrounding the rumors of the company's Project Andromeda device?