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Bryan M. Wolfe
| December 4, 2013
Apple's iBeacon Is Now Being Used To Give Bar Patrons Free Access To Magazines
London-based Exact Editions is finding an innovative way to use Apple’s new iBeacon technology. If their trial proves successful, it could change how many of us access magazines, according to TechCrunch. Patrons at Bar Kick in Shoreditch, London, can now read magazines for free on their iPads. This access is given to them automatically when they walk through the doors. When the customer walks out, the content is locked, and they are given an opportunity to buy a subscription to the magazine they just read. [caption id="attachment_493324" align="aligncenter" width="640"] A tiny iBeacon next to a cup of tea (Source: Exact Editions)[/caption] As TechCrunch notes:
The benefit is supposedly two-fold for a digital magazine publisher: they can sell subscriptions to businesses and locations, which then expose that publication to their customers, some of whom come away from the specific spot wanting to subscribe to the pub themselves. It can also give venues like concert halls and stadiums a way to provide patrons with in-house pubs, as an added value thing to help bring them in the door.Bars aren’t the only establishments that could benefit from this type of arrangement. Doctors offices, coffee shops, and even stadiums could find iBeacon to be a great way to enhance the customer experience. For it to work, all that is required are quarter size iBeacons, and for the establishment to buy subscriptions to the magazines they wish to promote. [caption id="attachment_493323" align="aligncenter" width="355"] Bar Kick[/caption] Launched earlier this year, iBeacon is an indoor positioning system that enables an iOS device or other hardware to send push notifications to iOS devices within close proximity. The technology uses Low Energy Bluetooth (BLE), also known as Bluetooth 4.0 or Bluetooth Smart. Not surprisingly, Apple retail stores will begin using iBeacon to provide customers with detailed information on products as they walk by. Some Major League Baseball stadiums will be equipped with Apple’s new iBeacon beginning in 2014. In doing so, attending games will become “a completely interactive experience for fans." This sounds like an ideal use for Apple's iBeacon. My only question: When will Starbucks start offering free magazines?