BUSINESS

iBeacon tracks shoppers, sends deals to phones

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(WJLA) - Many stores are tracking you while you shop through the GPS on your phone -- and they can tell where you’d like to go along with what's popular in the aisles.

New technology is taking another step into the future. Enter a store and you can get deals sent to your phone immediately.

Retailer American Eagle Outfitters is testing out Apple’s iBeacon right now, including inside its own store in Fair Oaks Mall.

Joe Megibow, Senior VP with Omni Channel e-Commerce, says the goal is to "reward our best customers, as well as provide the kinds of offers they're looking for -- which is a win-win."

This is how it works: stores carry transmitters that send discounts and recommendations to your iPhone over a Bluetooth connection when you pass by. It can pinpoint your location to within a few feet.

"We can just walk into a store and there it is -- 'Oh, I like that,'" says shopper Russell Hall. "That's what I do, go in there and get it over with."

Major League Baseball will also roll out the iBeacon program next year, and fans who walk into Nats Park could get help finding their seats and receive concession stand coupons – all on their phones.

But not everyone is sold on the iBeacon’s capabilities, due to privacy concerns.

"I'm not sure If I want everyone to know where I am," says Melissa Craney.

But Megibow says that iBeacon reportedly isn't tracking movements all over the store or to that extent, though it may be possible.

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