Apple and Disney have installed new iBeacon and NFC sensors ahead of the launch of the former’s “iPhone 6″ and new mobile payment service next week.
According to 9to5Mac, Apple have deployed new Gimball Series 20 Proximity Beacons to improve location tracking among its customers within its retail stores and perhaps to facilitate mobile payments using near field communication (NFC):
In addition to providing relevant information for the Apple Store app, iBeacons can be useful for NFC mobile payment technologies as a form of authentication. If Apple knows where a customer is in the store to a precise degree, it can ensure that is it wirelessly connecting to the correct iPhone for mobile payments.
The upcoming iPhone 6 is expected to come equipped with an NFC sensor and other wireless technologies to enable mobile payments in brick-and-mortar stores. Apple’s long-rumored wearable device, dubbed “iWatch,” is also said to be similarly suited to carrying out mobile payments.
Apple has been courting retailers as well as financial institutions regarding its new iPhone payment platform, with Nordstrom, Walgreens, and CVS among those that have reportedly been signed by the company as launch partners. Disney (whose CEO, Bob Iger, is a member of Apple’s board) may also be one, as suggested by its recent move to upgrade its stores’ point-of-sale terminals with NFC technology.
Apple is also said to be readying its proprietary iBeacon device, detailed in an FCC filing earlier this year, for rollout soon across its stores. The so-called “Apple iBeacon” may also be pushed by Apple for use by other retailers in conjunction with its mobile payment system.
Apple is expected to introduce its new mobile payment service alongside the iPhone 6 and the iWatch at its special media event on Tuesday, Sept. 9.