Tuesday, August 12, 2014

iOS 8 Changes Impacting Retail Tracking Startup Nomi

Nomi had to lay off a third of its employees due to privacy changes in iOS 8 which will randomize the MAC address broadcasted by iPhones while searching for a Wi-Fi network. According to Re/code:
Nomi sold a service to retail stores that allows them to track how many shoppers visit their stores, where they spend time inside the stores and how frequently they return. [...] repeat visitor information was mainly gathered by keeping track of an iPhone’s MAC address — the 12-character identifier that is broadcast when a phone is searching for nearby Wi-Fi networks.
Apple basically wants retailers to use its own technology, iBeacons for retail tracking. Nomi CEO Marc Ferrentino said in an interview that "Apple is signalling to the market that beacons are the way that they want this to be done."