Feeds

back to article Apple's spamtastic iBeacon retail alerts launch with Frisco FAIL

Apple on Friday fired up its iBeacon push-notification service, which it describes as a "location and proximity detection technology," in its 254 US retail stores – minus at least one, but more on that in a moment – adding a new dimension to fanbois' shopping experiences just in time for the holiday spending spree. iBeacon sends …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
SVV

Genius Bar

What on our dear Earth is this "Genius Bar"shit?

OK, I just googled it and the result can be found here if you are of a stout constitution : http://www.apple.com/uk/retail/geniusbar/

Basically, it's like the customer service point in Argos where you take your stuff to if it's broken. And the person manning it is called (I kid you not) a "Genius".

I would have expected it to have been a cool place for self described genius gadgetheads to hang out and congratulate themselves on their consumer choice in overpriced products and sip a cool beverage, but no, it's a complaints counter. A better name would have been "Fanboi Frustration Foyer". Or some more offensive alternatives I've just imagined.

21
13
Silver badge

Re: Genius Bar

"What on our dear Earth is this "Genius Bar"shit?"

And do they serve Double Bastard?

6
0
Silver badge

Re: Genius Bar

@SVV I know you are trying to appeal to a certain audience who already agree with you. But no, it's not. It's also an advice counter, anyone who buys Apple kit can book an appointment to get advice on how to do what they want to be able to do. I know many non techie people (especially older people) who think the service is wonderful, and as the person in my family who would otherwise get roped into helping said people, I think it is pretty good too.

It's also a mechanism to keep customers happy by ensuring they are seen on a timely basis. Apple have been clever in making the default mode of interaction at their stores, if you want extended help, be sure to book an appointment. That way they can actually dedicate some time to providing service instead of just being the equivalent of a mobile phone shop where before you go in you don't know if it will be that you can see someone immediately or if you will be leaving the store frustration after waiting half an hour and getting no service.

Also people don't think about the things you rarely have to worry about with Apple. Such as that if you phone them up (e.g. to book your appointment), you never seem to be left in a queue. Sorry not to join in your "ya-boo-sucks-athon" but I do believe in pointing out good stuff when it is encountered and dearly wish more businesses would try to copy the good stuff.

Yes calling it a "genius" bar is a bit of a stretch but I think you can credit most people with understanding it is marketing rather than a literal description and I think you can allow a business to market a product/service with an eye catching memetic, after all I don't ask my local funfair for my money back when it turns out the "ride-of-death" has failed to deliver on its' promise.

19
9
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Genius Bar

" but I do believe in pointing out good stuff when it is encountered and dearly wish more businesses would try to copy the good stuff."

Copy something Apple does? Apple? AKA Lawsuits R Us?

9
5
Silver badge
Pint

Re: Genius Bar

Isn't that a bit 'OTT' (Old Tongham Tasty)

Off down to the brewery to get some T.E.A. for Tea. Better not drink too much or I'll go 'AoverT'.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Genius Bar (@SVV)

Yes, it's a smug, annoying name for the customer service counter.

However, somewhere in the 12 years since Apple introduced them, I think most people who are likely to hear about them will have made peace with the name.

For your next comment, maybe you could explain what this "Windows XP" thing is?

9
0

Re: Genius Bar

I beg to differ. I and several of my work colleagues partake in a veritable drink up known as 'the only one club'. Whenever this weekly event takes place after several alcoholic beverages we become the 'genius bar'. There's nuffin wot we don't know. All the worlds problems solved in an evening - we were even first with the 'holding it wrong' motto*

*Maybe inaccurate due to alcohol induced memory loss.

5
0
SVV

Re: Genius Bar

Re : providing customers with help if needed, good stuff that they make some effort to do that, despite the fact that you have to book an appointment like it's the computer doctor.

Regarding the cringe inducing marketing (or "eye catching" as you describe it), I have also never asked for my money back when ordering "Sex on the Beach" at a bar failed to deliver on its' promise.

1
3
Anonymous Coward

Re: Genius Bar

"What on our dear Earth is this "Genius Bar"shit?"

Ah, the outrage of faux-ignorance .. You knew what it was so cut the crap.

If you really didn't then your ignorance is both breathtaking and inexcusable. I've never watched Jersey Shore but I know who they are.

3
3
Silver badge

Re: Genius Bar

Rather devalues the word 'genius' though. Christ, imagine if (Galileo, Einstein, finish the list yourself) had merely been Hoxtonites with doublespeak...

1
0
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Genius Bar

Remember, it's cheaper to award someone an impressive position name than to pay them real money.

In the case of people involved in 'bling', such as iThingies, their fragile egos will assign even more worth to such meaningless titles.

1
0
Silver badge
Holmes

As Patches O'Houlihan would say,

"Sounds about as useful as a poopy-flavored lollipop."

5
4
Bronze badge
Pint

Absent loyalty card doesn't mean your shopping proclivities are safe

Unless you also avoid using a credit or debit card to pay for your stash.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Absent loyalty card doesn't mean your shopping proclivities are safe

WTF has my shopping for a nice tipple (or two hic!) got to do with an insurance company?

Are they going to increase your premiums if you have drink a few times a week?

If they are then, <redacted> them because my premiums are already astronomical because of the Leukaemia I got some 8 years ago and requires no treatment other than a blood test twice a year. Almost worth going back to Blighty and the dear old NHS (who treated the blood cancer perfectly).

0
0
Silver badge
Thumb Down

"Comfortable with that?" Er, well now that you mention it, no.

I cannot stand stores where you are pursued by bonus hunting sales staff at the best of times and if the shop itself were to start spamming me I would be out of there so fast that the only residual trace of my presence would a small local increase in temperature due to displaced air rushing back in.

11
2
Silver badge

Re: "Comfortable with that?" Er, well now that you mention it, no.

"... and if the shop itself were to start spamming me I would be out of there so fast ..."

Quite.

I, for one, sincerely hope Apple have patented this idea so tightly that it isn't possible for any other company to work their way around the patents to implement something similar.

However, if they haven't done, and other companies do manage to come up with something that works for other types of phone, then I can rest easy: I've always kept Bluetooth switched off unless I'm actually using it for something - which I haven't done in many years.

8
0

Re: "Comfortable with that?" Er, well now that you mention it, no.

> I can rest easy: I've always kept Bluetooth switched off

Oh, that's fixable. Apple can just do like Google likes to do, and link the bluetooth service to some other service. Like, say, that you can not have wifi enabled without also having bluetooth enabled. Or do like Microsoft likes to do, and simply remove the setting to turn off bluetooth. The possibilities to make sure that you see those offers are endless.

2
9
Silver badge

Re: "Comfortable with that?" Er, well now that you mention it, no.

"Oh, that's fixable. Apple can just do like Google likes to do, and link the bluetooth service to some other service."

Well, I have Android 4.1.2 on my phone, and Bluetooth is definitely switched off. If it's linked to another service, then that must be a service I don't use.

"Like, say, that you can not have wifi enabled without also having bluetooth enabled. Or do like Microsoft likes to do, and simply remove the setting to turn off bluetooth. The possibilities to make sure that you see those offers are endless."

No, those are possibilities to discourage me from buying a new phone. :p

(Or, if I buy one and then discover I can't disable Bluetooth, to return it for a full refund because it is unsatisfactory.)

6
0

Re: "Comfortable with that?" Er, well now that you mention it, no.

> I have Android 4.1.2 on my phone, and Bluetooth is definitely switched off

Yeah, Google hasn't done this with Bluetooth yet -- it's still only Apple who's implemented an iTout, but Google will soon follow suit. First it'll be an opt-in service which gives the user a discount on the advertised products, then a default service you can opt-out of, and finally it'll be fully integrated with iOS and Android, and turning it off will be either impossible or remove so much functionality that it's not really an option.

> If I buy one and then discover I can't disable Bluetooth, to return it for a full refund

Maybe you will, but most wont, any more than the fact that Windows Phones can't be rooted or that iPhone users can't select where to buy their apps discourages people from buying those. We're all frogs and we're all being cooked so slowly we don't even notice that we're being boxed in.

1
6

Re: "Comfortable with that?" Er, well now that you mention it, no.

Don't think I've ever come across an Android phone that needs bluetooth on for anything. Mine is permanently off, as is my partners, mothers, brothers, mother in law, father in law etc etc etc and pretty much everybody else I can think of that uses Android

5
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: "Comfortable with that?" Er, well now that you mention it, no.

Well, I have Android 4.1.2 on my phone, and Bluetooth is definitely switched off. If it's linked to another service, then that must be a service I don't use.

With 4.4 if you switch Wifi "off" it still remains enabled to allow it to be used to scan for APs to get location information unless you additional disable "high accuracy" locations. I'm sure its not beyond the ability of Apple or whoever to do something similar so that if you "turn off" bluetooth it still remains enabled to allow it to receive iBeacon info unless you find the setting doubtless hidden behind several levels of menus/options which allows you to disbale iBeacon ... could even go the Spotify-style route and allow you to disable it for 6 hours after which it would spring back into life

0
0
Silver badge

Re: "Comfortable with that?" Er, well now that you mention it, no.

One wonders how many iBeacons will be developing mysterious faults when the bonus chasing sales staff find they've been beaten to the sale by the store's computer and they don't qualify for the bonuses any longer.

1
0
Bronze badge
Thumb Up

Re: "Comfortable with that?" Er, well now that you mention it, no.

"(Or, if I buy one and then discover I can't disable Bluetooth, to return it for a full refund because it is unsatisfactory.)"

More than anything because the second you turn all that wireless shit on, the battery takes a massive hit, especially as it ages. I'm not a complete "greeny" but I like to do my bit to save the planet and not wasting leccy ( or my precious time or money ) charging a bloody phone every 20 mins is high on my list of priorities when I look new phones. I like my phones to last at least 3 days without a charge as I am a lazy sod, so everything better be tweakable else it's no-go for me!

1
0
Bronze badge

iAd support at its best.

The great thing about Apple devices is that, in being ad supported, you get to contribute to that off shore tax dodging fund forever.

Skimming the UK dry like the rest of them evil companies. Obviously, it makes for a few more well paid sycophants in power.

4
4
Anonymous Coward

Re: iAd support at its best.

Just like Google, Facebook, Oracle, Adobe, Microsoft and all the rest who base themselves in Ireland and move their European profits to nice tax shelters out of reach of Uncle Sam.

Then there is also a very good financial reason that Microsoft is registered for tax purposes in Nevada. Little or no business taxation in that fair state.

Every business worth more than a few million $$$$ will do whateve they can to avoid paying even $1 more tax than they have to.

Please carry on posting anto-Apple rants but please be sure to do the same to every other US/UK/EU company who uses Tax havens.

6
2
Bronze badge

Re: iAd support at its best.

Like I said, they are just like " the rest of them evil companies".

Yet indeed it is obvious that I am not enamoured enough to be an iDonor.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Will explode like a bomb in Tenerife or Hawaii

They can now sack all those hassling bar, restaurant and even timeshare touts.

Instead we get bombed with iTout.

4
1
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: "iTout".

Hilarious, I love it.

1
0
Bronze badge
Trollface

" A NEW DIMENTION TO FANBOIS SHOPPING EXPERIENCES"

PING!...PING!...PING!..."Today, loyal consumer, all adhesives 30% off ".

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Does said iphones just display these messages, or do they vibrate and/or make an audible alert as well? If either of those are true then I cannot think of anything more annoying. Ever.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

On behalf of San Francisco natives everywhere...

... please don't call it Frisco.

Thank you

2
2
Silver badge
Joke

Re: On behalf of San Francisco natives everywhere...

"... please don't call it Frisco."

iFrisco?

1
0
Silver badge

Re: On behalf of San Francisco natives everywhere...

How about Oakland West?

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: On behalf of San Francisco natives everywhere...

Or that smaller place to the north of (The City of) San Jose

0
0
Silver badge
Devil

Re: On behalf of San Francisco natives everywhere...

Cisco ?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

"That said, the AP reports that Apple says it doesn't collect information about shoppers in its stores – iBeacon is a push-notification system that's triggered when the Apple Store app senses a beacon, and the beacon doesn't need to know who you are or your iDevice's UID."

But what about the app on the phone? What does it share?

3
0
Bronze badge
Trollface

"A NEW DIMENTION TO FANBOIS SHOPPING EXPERIENCES 2"

PING!...PING!...PING!..." Attention loyal consumers...today you have the exclusive opportunity to pay a 30% mark up on all products in store... this offer will remain in force........forever."

3
2

So...

You 'Design' the stores to the n'th degree and then invent a system so your flock are just staring at their phones.

Rubbish.

3
1
Bronze badge

STRESS TEST?

Wonder if this is a psychological thing? I'm sure i read somewhere that if you're "STRESSED" you spend more. If your phone is going to be going off all the time "Alerting" you about the next amazing bargain in store and that you only have a "limited time" before the "offer" is "removed forever", wouldn't that stress you out and make you spend?.......i'm sure it'll all be very friendly and benign......it is an American Corporation after all!

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: STRESS TEST?

"wouldn't that stress you out and make you spend?......."

Or suffer an anxiety attack and rush for the open air and safety of the street? Assuming you do make it and not just hyperventilate into passing out, making an untidy shape on the corporate flooring.

2
0
WTF?

Could be fun...

Looking forward to somebody hacking this crap

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Could be fun...

Was thinking just that. Every Bluetooth connection I've ever made needed a pairing code entering, but, seemingly that's not the case here. Does that mean that the app automatically accepts connections from whatever Bluetooth device is broadcasting a specific name? If in-store display iPads and iPhones are being used as base stations, no reason to believe that any (jailbroken?) iPad or iPhone can't do the same.

Guaranteed connection, guaranteed OS version... what could possibly go wrong?

Another thing that doesn't add up. They say the system doesn't obtain any info about the phone, but, it can advise about upgrades. How can it advise on upgrades if it doesn't know what device and OS version you are using?

0
0
Silver badge

Works in reverse?

We could use it to keep iWankers out of places too - anyone who bought an iThing and turned on the service to be notified about how brilliant iThings were whilst walking round a shop dedicated to iThings is also likely to be a massive bell-end in other ways too.

3
0

Hawk-Eye

To be used with the ballpark version to give you that few moments heads up.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.