Indoor GPS to lead to seemless retail transactions?

And why I disagree with Mike Elgan on the death of NFC.

I have thought about this for the past fews years where if it was possible to know where you are in the store you could potentially buy things without the need to actually walk up to the cashier and pay for the goods. Mike Elgan has written a brilliant article with Apple's iBeacon technology on how it can be used for indoor GPS and also payments. The only thing I disagree on is that it could kill NFC.

The only problem with bluetooth authorisation is if you have a lot of people in the store how do you know which person is which. You could have a token on your device that says you are customer no. XXX and you can show this to someone before you buy but it seems a bit of a hassle. What NFC allows is that when you do a physical tap to a receiving device at that particular time you know the two devices in question has talked to each other.

Just imagine you walked into a supermarket and each product on the shelves had an NFC tag. You can just tap on the tag on the things you want to buy and put it into your trolley. At the same time the supermarket stores will be able to see what you are buying through the bluetooth network that when you decide to leave the store, you could have someone at the entrance to review the goods in your trolley and that person will have a NFC device that will just authorise the payment after review.

All I am saying is that there is still life in the old NFC and under certain use cases it is much better to use than Bluetooth. Just look at the transport ticketing system around the world and how they have used NFC for getting people through the train ticket barriers. I am not sure how Bluetooth would allow for that...

And I don't think Apple are totally against the use of NFC as well:

Mike Elgan

Why Apple's 'indoor GPS' plan is brilliant.

Apple's iBeacons system will enable purchases, contextual marketing, automated check-ins and much more:

Nearly a year and a half ago, I predicted that Apple was hatching a "secret plan to kill the cash register." Well, iBeacons is that plan.

iBeacons is a Bluetooth-based micro-locations system (think very accurate GPS that can be used indoors). But instead of being used by people to determine their own locations, it's used by retailers, museums and businesses of all kinds to find out exactly where people are, so they can automatically serve up highly relevant interactions to customers' phones.

I think Apple's approach will not only kill cash registers, but NFC, too.

Here's what iBeacons is all about and why it's a stroke of genius on Apple's part:

#ibeacons   #iphone   #apple   #bluetooth  


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