Not many people yet appreciate the iBeacon feature built into their devices. But you will. iBeacon continues to gain momentum, and more and more people will begin to use it this year. A post on AppleInsider yesterday reported the first use of iBeacon for mobile payments. This is likely the future: You've selected your items for purchase and as you walk out the store you simply tap your iPhone to confirm the purchase, and you're on your way. According to AppleInsider, iMobile3 has developed a system called PassMarket that will store your payment information for a particular retailer. The system interacts with your iPhone via iBeacon, so that when you approach checkout, iBeacon will sense your location and automatically give you the option of paying via your phone. According to the article, iMobile3 envisions that this will be readily adopted by retailers because the technology basically integrates systems they're already using. And for reasons explained in the article, this system is more secure than the system that was recently breached at Target.
According to an article Monday in The Guardian, many iBeacon applications are in the works. Retailers will use it to make special offers depending on your location in a store, as well as prepare items for pickup by sensing when you walk in the door. Other applications include theme parks, concert venues and stadiums, restaurants, and car companies.
So far, most of these applications are still in the future. But if you want to try out iBeacon, load the Apple Store app onto your device and head to the nearest Apple Store. They've installed iBeacon transmitters at many of their locations. Plus, a number of Major League Baseball stadiums will be running pilot programs this season.