The Internet of Things has been one of the larger buzzwords in technology. With the rise of connected objects, from self-driving cars to smartwatches that can play Frank Sinatra and talk radio, objects are now capable of functionalities that people would typically see in movies. Similarly, Bluetooth beacons are low-energy transmitters that act as a mediator between devices like mobile phones.
A Bluetooth beacon sends out a signal that lets nearby devices know their presence. However, beacons themselves do not carry any data. This means they are not capable of seeing other devices around it. They simply send out a signal for these devices to connect through an app made for the specific store or institution. Beacons do not take any data or information from mobile devices. Rather, they act as a means of providing important information to these devices for uses like analytics, room access, indoor navigation, and education.
A decision was made here.
On-site shopping analytics tools utilize IoT technology like beacons to track customer movement more accurately than triangulation or other methods. These systems can provide powerful insights that were once thought exclusive to e-commerce.
With analytics like dwell time where customers are contemplating a purchase decision, it provides a glimpse into the decision-making process of what they’re going to buy. Some qualities like who has the lowest price or who has their item places on the top of the shelf is a factor in their decisions, so insights like these can help retail stores optimize placement to make customer choices easier.
A Bluetooth beacon in your hotel room can make access much easier as long you have your phone on you. You can use the hotel’s app to access this beacon for functions such as controlling the TV, getting into your room, or even unlocking your room’s safe. People stay at nice hotels because they want to be pampered. Technology can help provide that sense of luxury by making access to services and amenities easier.
Ever walked into a large building and had no idea where you’re going? This pain point exists in all brick and mortar stores. Store policy tries to address this when employees ask “Did you find everything okay?” but when we’re asked this question, we usually just say “yes”.
With beacons, on the other hand, consumers could quickly find the item they’re looking for without having to circle through the whole store.
A Bluetooth beacon can take away the time-consuming task of taking roll call during class. Expecting children to function in a connected world means that classrooms need to be modernized as well. Beacons can help facilitate the learning process in many ways, like transmitting class material directly to student devices, trigger notifications and check-ins, and location tracking during campus emergencies.
Bluetooth beacons can be the gateway to IoT that consumers need. Since people have to install an app for the beacon to interact with their mobile device, it can help familiarize them with the real benefits from connecting to beacons and other IoT devices.
Being acquainted with Bluetooth beacons will make people more likely to enable permissions for other IoT devices. Beacons aren’t necessarily a killer app for the IoT industry, but it is certainly a critical component of the Internet of Things ecosystem.
About the author:
Fabianne Rico is a Marketing Manager for Impekable, a design and development agency that specializes in using the latest technology and trends to create apps that are both useful and usable.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.