Back in June, at WWDC, Apple first announced iOS 7, detailing a host of new technologies. Hidden among them, with the barest of mentions, was the iBeacon.
Think of an iBeacon as a tiny radio you can put almost anywhere. When your iPhone or other iOS device gets within range (a few dozen feet or so), it detects the iBeacon and can estimate how far away it is. Each iBeacon has its own identifier, too, so if your iPhone is within range of more than one iBeacon, it can tell them apart.
One company that is hard at work making their own brand of iBeacon sensor is estimote. From their web site:
Simply stick our tiny sensors in any physical place — such as your retail store — and your app users will benefit from personalized micro-location based notifications and actions when they walk in to your venue or interact with your products.
Roximity is another company that makes iBeacons. From their website:
Manage your beacons and triggers from a simple yet powerful web based dashboard. View detailed analytics about your campaigns, in store foot traffic, busiest times of day, and much much more!
I think this technology has incredible potential.