Beacons have been generating a buzz since 2013 not just in the US but all around the world. Beacons began with the introduction of iBeacon which is a protocol that lets Bluetooth devices transmit data in small bits. In 2015, Google started EddyStone, their alternative for iBeacon, and since then it is referred as Beacon Technology. In simple words, a beacon is a small Bluetooth radio transmitter that transmits a small amount of data through Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) up to 150 feet. Beacon technology strengthens the EngagePHD platform (a cloud-based content management system that allows users to manage their content from anywhere with an internet connection).
Different markets like retail, airlines, restaurants and hotels can use this technology for marketing, branding and loyalty by sending coupons, offering navigation services, personalized ads, promotions, product information and calls to action. Chicago based ITConnectUS is creatively exploring beacon technology for diverse solutions for emerging brands in the future soon. With our expertise in using EngagePHD, cloud-based content management software and digital communication technologies, beacon technology sees several creative outputs.
HOW BEACON TECHNOLOGY WORKS
The beacon sends out its ID numbers about ten times every second (variable to the setting and depending on the need). A nearby Bluetooth-enabled device, like your phone, picks up that signal. When a dedicated app recognizes it, it links it to an action or piece of content stored in the cloud and displays it to the user. You can “teach” your app how to react to a beacon signal by using third-party tools. All the beacon has to do now is connect your exact location to the app, and the rest is up to the program. The possibilities of usage and interaction with this new technology are endless.
BEACON DEVICE FROM INSIDE?
Beacons are very small, simple devices similar to a router which can be hanged or placed anywhere. Despite their size however, they contain a CPU, radio, and batteries too. Beacons often use small lithium chip batteries (smaller and more powerful than AA batteries) or run via connected power like USB plugs. They come in different shapes and colors, may include accelero-meters and temperature sensors for better input variables. However, they all function the same to transmit data to your device for further action.
USAGES OF BEACON TECHNOLOGY
In manufacturing and transport, managers need to know exactly where goods are at any given time. Beacons can provide them with required real-time tracking information.
Navigation – Creating an accurate “GPS for indoor navigation” is a very popular use of the beacon technology. Imagine it as what Google Maps does for the outdoors, beacons can do for much smaller areas indoors. They can tell you where you are and where you’re going in, say, a museum, a festival, or a train station.
Interaction – It can make reactions automated and trigger events. For example – If you make a purchase at your local cafe, beacons help the app register that you were there. After a certain number of entries, you can receive a message for a free coffee.
Security – Beacons can automatically send notifications (either to app users or property owners) about a safety issue. Beacons can also be paired with geo-fencing to add an extra layer to data security. Say an individual or property has left a premise when it shouldn’t have, a beacon can notify you immediately without physical surveillance.
Analysis – A beacon is capable of storing data and can generate easy to understand reports for analysis purposes.
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