It’s no secret that Apple is looking to greatly improve and revamp the in-store shopping experience for its customers, and iBeacon – Apple’s proximity-based, Bluetooth LE-powered communication technology – is steadily becoming an integral part of this concerted push. As well as enhancing the engagement potential of the Apple Retail Store, iBeacon has a much broader scope, and a Japanese company by the name of Tzukuri has just announced a set of MFi spectacles that will embrace Apple’s fledgling beacons system.
The rationale behind integrating iBeacon is to enable the wearer to locate their specs without the tedium of trying to retrace one’s steps. Accurate to 1ft, users would conceivably be able to set up iBeacons in their own home / locale, but while the end-user would certainly benefit from the considerations made by Tzukuri, this versatile product could also serve a significant purpose at retail point.
For example, when on shelves in-store, the glasses can be utilized as beacons, and since they are solar-powered, there’s no constraint with regard to battery life. Tzukuri seems very assured of its product, and when you consider the potential clientèle – the sun-seeking, bespectacled masses – it’s no wonder.
The company is on the cusp of gathering crowd-funding, and with the manufacturing process comprising a meticulous handmade system with eight separate checks along the way, it’s not surprising that these lenses will command a bit of a premium on your regular alternatives. Early birds will be able to grab a pair for AU$249 (US$230) by taking advantage of the the discounts at crowd-sourcing stage, but eventually, you’re looking at a retail price of around AU$349, which equates to about $320 U.S.
The lenses are scratch-resistant, offering full UV protection, but the real clincher is the amount of time and stress you’ll save when using your iPhone to pinpoint them thanks to iBeacon.
As for designs, there are six in total, all influence by inspirational figures ranging from John Lennon to Grace Kelly. The first batch, which will being shipping late 2014-early 2015 for those who pre-order, will be sunglasses only, although Tzukuri has made plans to introduce subscription lenses thereafter.
You can grab more information by pointing your browser to: Tzukuri.com
What do you make of this – would you pay extra for the benefits of the tracking tech? Do share your comments below!