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Google's New Beacon Approach Could Impact More than Shopping

Smartphones don't just connect to nearby cell phone towers. Proximity beacon technology has been around a few years in the form of Apple's iBeacon, which allows an iPhone or iPad to connect to objects – called beacons – using Bluetooth. Retailers, museums, sports stadiums and anywhere else with large numbers of smartphone users can now use beacons to provide hyper-local information down to the exact aisle, exhibit, or seat. Airports, zoos, concert halls and shopping malls are now being fitted with Bluetooth-powered beacons that let smartphones pick up adverts, notifications, and even navigate indoors.

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