Being one of the massive steps in the ambient context identification, beacon technology has become one of the buzzwords in today's technology industry. Beacon technology is slowly becoming a highly prevalent part of the day to day life. As the opportunities for integration of the Beacon technology with the enterprise systems are evolving, the future that we once anticipated has truly arrived.
What is Beacon Technology?
The term “Beacon” and “iBeacon” are often used by the technology experts interchangeably. Beacons, in specific, refer to the physical transmitters and Beacon is the name given to the Apple's technology standard, which allows the diverse mobile apps, running on both Android and iOS to listen to the signals transmitted by the Beacons present in the physical world. Thus, iBeacon technology slows the different mobile apps to understand their current position on a micro-local scale, while delivering the hyper-contextual content to the users on the basis of their location. The underlying communication technology leveraged by the Beacons to interact with the mobile apps is “Bluetooth Low Energy”.
Business Benefits of Beacon
Beacons are being increasingly used in business worldwide owing to its inimitable set of benefits delivered by these. Beacons allow the background positioning and easy detection, giving an amazing power to a mobile phone which makes it “truly” smart.
And Beacons are indeed among the unique and sophisticated tools which hold an untapped potential for the retail, merchandising, banking and advertising industry. Beacons allow the businesses a unique opportunity to target consumers at the most opportune moments. For instance, in the retail industry, the retail store's shelves and displays can become more personalized and interactive, as the Beacons positioned in the background can tell the customers about the specific offers and discounts they may be interested in.
With Beacons, the brands are no longer limited to their shelf displays and the targeted point-of-sale campaigns for communicating their messages. Also, businesses and brand marketers can utilize this digital form of outreach to the identified shoppers with personalized messages.
How Does Beacon Technology Work?
Beacons are the small, low-cost, battery-operated wireless devices which continuously convey the simple Bluetooth signals. The signals which are emitted by the Beacons can be picked and receive by the apps installed on the smartphones. On the basis of the location, proximity and time, Beacons can perform an endless array of tasks.
Beacon Technology vs NFC
NFC is one of the most powerful location technologies being used by businesses today. But, in order to get the optimum benefits of NFC technology, the NFC system deployment needs to be done and it requires a large array of components including readers, reader control, tags and application software to be in place.
Thus, businesses which want to use the NFC technology first need to heavily invest to set up the entire infrastructure. Also, while it is possible to easily download the software which turns them into the NFC readers, but is not the inherent capability of most of the mobile devices being available today.
On the other hand, “Beacon” which is an indoor location technology leverages a BLE location system in which Beacons act as the signal transmitters which are majorly battery powered and can be easily configured on iOS and Android mobile devices with the help of suitable mobile apps.
This makes Beacon technology, highly portable and infinitely scalable. Also, in the case of Beacons, the smartphones can easily act as receivers. Thus, using Beacon technology is not at all difficult as smartphones are quite ubiquitous these days.
5 Ways in Which Beacon Technology Can be Life Changing
Primarily the Beacon technology intends to change the way businesses interact with their customers and how the personalized marketing campaigns work. But, there are several other ways in which Beacon technology is impacting our day to day life. There are a lot of benefits of beacon technology which help businesses serve their customers better.
Here are the top 5 ways in which the Beacon Technology is expected to change our lives.
Establishing a Fulfilling Customer Experience
With the Beacon technology, the businesses and brands would be able to deliver a more fulfilling experience to their customers. Businesses would be able to pull the consumers and offer them the products which have been personalized and contextualized for the gratification of the customer.
The beacons will not only facilitate the new ways of sending out the more personalized connections but, also seek to leverage the influx of data for deriving unique advantages. This data could give vital insights about the customers' behavior and buying habits, using which businesses can create a unique experience for each and every customer.
Driving Customer Loyalty
Customers always demand for the convenience, personalized services and product availability. Beacons can help the businesses to gain insights and information using which they can become more flexible. Beacons, when synced with the merchant's mobile app, can deliver the visual heat maps which shows the moving patterns of the consumers around the stores while enabling the business owners to search trends which can aid them in understanding their customers' anticipations better.
Security and Asset Tracking
Beacons can enable the security of the expensive equipment and the asset tracking in an efficient manner. The Beacons can be attached to the critical equipment in the hospitals, museums, and warehouses and these can send the push notifications to the intended receivers in the real-time. Thus, it will become easier to track the location of the things to which Beacons are attached.
The future of beacon technology is quite bright in the offices and organizations where these can help in increasing the productivity and reducing costs. Beacons can make the office environments much smarter by enabling auto trigger, automatic initiation, and completion of the tasks without the human intervention. For instance, the sensors attached to the factory floors can interact with the diagnostic monitors while improving the production efficiency and reducing the down-times. Also, Beacons can be used to help the workers easily locate the supplies to save time and alert them when they are approaching the specific areas on the factory floors which are dangerous when not equipped with the proper safety gear.
Interactive In-store Experiences
As the customers walk into the humongous stores and hypermarkets, they are often overwhelmed by the number of products, multiple floors, long aisles and the inefficient support staff. Most of the times, people find it very difficult to find and locate the specific items which they want to buy. But, Beacon technology can change it all! It can help consumers find the required products quickly, provide the customers the personalized preferences as they walk through the aisles, simplify the checkout processes and recommend the products based on the location.