Here's another brilliant use of the iBeacons technology that arrived with iOS 7: making Newsstand publications available for free when a user is within a specific area. London-based Exact Editions, a digital publishing startup, is using iBeacons as part of its ByPlace program, which allows publishers to specify locations where magazines can appear without the need for a subscription fee.
TechCrunch's Darrell Etherington points out how this could be useful to businesses. A coffee shop "could subscribe and enable access to full magazines to patrons who come in." I'd personally like my dentist to use the service to provide access to magazines other than ancient issues of People and Highlights for Kids...
Exact Editions' Daniel Hodgkin says that the first showcase for iBeacons will be Bar Kick in Shoreditch, London. Patrons of the bar can pick up a soccer magazine -- When Saturday Comes -- and fashion and culture magazine Dazed and Confused.
For publishers, the benefits are that they sell subscriptions to businesses that then expose the publication to customers. Some of those customers might then subscribe to the publication themselves. For those businesses, offering the publication is a way to add value and provide an incentive for customers to walk in the door.
This use of iBeacons demonstrates one more way that the technology will be used to benefit both businesses and consumers.