Waitrose Tests iBeacons in Futuristic Tech Hotbed Swindon

By Gary Cutlack on at

Shoppers in Waitrose may soon have a legitimate reason for staring at their telephones while clattering into old ladies with their trolleys, thanks to the supermarket chain launching a trial of Apple's under-used iBeacons location-aware software.

According to Waitrose, the iBeacons implementation in its Swindon branch will let the shop signal nearby price promotions to customers when they trundle into the relevant aisles, putting an end to the fun game of looking for all the BOGOFs manually. If Waitrose ever lowers itself to the BOGOF, that is.

The app will also let customers scan barcodes, read reviews and add items to a virtual basket, ahead of one day being able to pay for the whole lot via the phone itself. No more checkouts, no more eye contact, a hotline to the in-store discounts. Everyone's a winner.

Last month, Tesco announced a similar trial, using iBeacons in its Chelmsford branch to point customers in the direction of products they've previously added to an app-based shipping list. [Marketing via Engadget]