Mall Shoppers: Prepare To Have Coupons Beamed Straight To Your Phone

Not inundated enough with ads and coupons? Good, because the country’s largest operator of shopping malls is launching a program that will use audio waves to beam both coupons and ads straight to shoppers’ mobile phones.

Simon Property Group, owner of more than 370 shopping centers in the U.S. alone, has paired up with start-up tech company Shopkick Inc. for the program, which will begin popping up as soon as this month in malls in NYC, L.A., San Francisco and Chicago.

Simon says it hopes to have the program up and running in 100 malls over the next few months, with around 30% of each center’s stores signing up to participate in the next year.

Participating stores would have to install speakers outside their entrances. These will emit a sound that is supposedly inaudible to human hearing, but will be picked up by your cell phone.

One good bit of news: Only those who opt into the program by installing the Shopkick app on their iPhone of Android phone will be bombarded by the coupons.

Also, you will need to be in close proximity of a store to receive its signal. Retailers also like this feature because it means they know the shoppers receiving their offers are already in the mall, as opposed to seeing an ad on the street or online.

“Nobody can reward anybody for being in the parking lot,” said a rep for Shopkick.

In addition to the Simon mall properties, Shopkick will also soon be popping up at Best Buy and Macy’s. The electronics chain says it will be testing the technology in a handful of markets including San Francisco. Macy’s will begin testing it next week in around 150 locations.

Here’s a demo of the tech that was posted on Techcrunch:

Mall deal gives big boost to cell-phone coupons [AP]