“iBeacon” a recent entrant in tech keyword list is creating a lot of buzz. Let’s dive-in to explore, What they are? How they work? And why they will be important?
GPS services, based on lat/long are great for navigation and pointing locations on maps. But modern day people with smartphones spend most of their time indoors. When it comes to indoor, multistoried buildings and even underground areas, GPS doesn't have capacity to capture accurate location. So, Beacons are the solution.
Beacons are transmitters that use Low Energy Bluetooth technology to communicate with other devices. These are very small devices which come with a battery life of about 3-12 months. They can be easily mounted on walls/ceilings
In layman terms, just think of a battery operated radio, transmitting constant flow of audio signals. However, data transmitted in this case will have prefix, UDID, major, minor values.
The potential isn’t just hype. It’s real, though. Industries like retail, hotel and logistics will encounter completely new ways to interact with customer, staff, etc.
Just think of scenario(s)
1) You walked into store and you get a personalized welcome notification on your mobile device. Also you get the deals & offers based on your interest, purchasing history.
2) You are at hotel lobby and reception staff is automatically notified about your arrival. Reception staff immediately completes the check-in process. Meanwhile you enjoy your favorite welcome drink, being served by the waitress, without even asking you. She had been notified about your presence and your favorite drink, the moment you entered the proximity. Wonderful….isn’t it….!
3) You are in big amusement park and your mobile app guides you the exact path to your favorite ride, cafeteria, etc…..Wow…!
Many tech companies are building platforms/SDKs which can be easily used along beacons, like Gimbal, BlueCats, Estimote, Kontakt.io
In five years, iBeacon/Bluetooth Low Energy Device market to reach 60 million devices (Source: Internet)
Let’s wait and watch, how it evolves.