Apple iBeacon could point to where location-based apps are going

Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iBeacon technology is already being seen by some experts as having a transformative effect on the retail sector and beyond. Apple recently switched on iBeacon in more than 250 Apple stores, sending product updates and other information to shoppers who had downloaded the App Store App. The idea of location-based services in a retail environment has been around for a while, but iBeacons' use of the Bluetooth LE standard means apps may soon be able to take advantage of indoor or "micro-location" scenarios. This could include not only use cases in stores, but also in museum displays, trail markers in parks, or even in the home. It could also represent Apple's response to those who have wondered if the company would ever adopt Near Field Communications technology in iPhones. For more on this, check out this FierceDeveloper special report.