Shoppers at the American department store Macy's are set to be the first to be tracked by Apple's controversial new iSpy system.
A company called Shopkick has launched a pilot programme based on Apple's iBeacon software at its stores in San Francisco and New York.
Its ShopBeacon system will greet customers and then treat them to "location-specific deals, discounts, recommendations, and rewards".
Anyone who has downloaded Shopkick's app doesn't even need to start it. When it detects the iBeacon signal, the app will spring to life and start sending annoying messages, perhaps pointing the iPhone or iPad user in the direction of an item they might like or giving details of a sale.
The fruity firm quietly slipped iBeacon technology in with the release of iOS7. It allows Cupertino and its commercial allies to track the movements of fanbois and gurlz.
It is set to be used in Apple's own retail stores, although fanbois can opt out by turning off their phone's location services.
Martine Reardon, Macy’s chief marketing officer, said:
“Customers are not always on a mission to buy. What ShopBeacon can do is show them some product if they’re walking down an aisle or in one part of the store and not the other. It’s one way to engage consumers with the products."
The device will be invaluable to any shop looking to attract "millennial" consumers because, as we all know, the annoying little bastards spend every waking moment clutching their phone or fondleslab. They will no doubt be delighted to be told how best to spend their parents' money, while everyone else will probably want to turn the function off, because there's nothing more annoying than being bossed around when out shopping.
The Shopkick app can switch itself on whenever a customer enters a store. It can also detect which department they are in.
Each Shopkick transmitter is super cheap at a cost of just $40 and can be mounted on a wall.
Some six million fanbois have downloaded Shopkick thus far. Now it is combined with Apple's iSpy tracking system, shopping is about to become even more unbearable. ®