It allows you to shop in-store entirely with your iPhone or iPad

Apple not only helps you find your way around outside, but now inside its stores as well with a new service. 

The new indoor positioning system, called "iBeacon," helps in-store customers pick up their orders when ready, upgrade their iPhones, make purchases, reserve items or shop around for a new Apple product.

IBeacon also sends information on events and offers in the store depending on where you're standing. For example, if you're standing by an iPhone table, iBeacon can send you upcoming iPhone-specific events and offers. It can even ask you if you want to upgrade, allowing you to check your upgrade availability right there. 

Apple Store layout with iBeacon [SOURCE: GigaOm]

Apple does this by setting up iBeacon transmitters, where some are simply iPhones and iPads. The transmitters use Bluetooth wireless technology to sense your exact location (the company didn't use GPS because it's not real accurate when it comes to distinguishing locations a few feet apart indoors). The iBeacon transmitters are then adjusted to reach certain distances. 

Interested in giving it a shot? The feature is already integrated into the Apple Store app. Once you open the app, you'll have to agree to allow Apple to track your location and send you notifications in the store (both must be agreed to before the app will work). From there, the app will automatically switch to "in-store mode" once you go inside. 

Apple isn't the first to offer such an service. There's an existing app called Shopkick, which sends customers discounts when they enter Macy's, J.C. Penney and other stores.

However, the difference is that Apple is using micro-location technology to go beyond simply entering a store and instead focusing on each individual aisle or table. 

All 254 U.S. Apple Stores will receive iBeacon support, and it's compatible with iOS 7. 

Source: Yahoo Finance

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