Before we discuss about the current and future developments of Beacon Technology, let’s have a quick recap.
A wireless sensor that can communicate with nearby smart phones and tablets is called a Beacon. It uses Bluetooth Low Energy(BLE)to transmit data, so that an action can be triggered. As the name suggests, its energy consumption is low, which in turn reduces the drain on battery life and let the signal pass through physical objects.
The capability of receiving information is not attached with Beacons,thus it can only send informations,provided the user has downloaded the particular app and enabled its notifications.
As the proverb goes..”Good things come in small packages”
Similarly,Beacons are also typically small and inexpensive.It is attached with an unique identifier that determines signal strength and proximity of a user’s device to the Beacon.
Beacons do not do tracking on their own.It also gives an option to consumers, whether or not to include the user’s information. They do not have any data on them, it is as simple as, how you can adjust the features of Beacon for the improved quality of your usage.
Beacons can be used in different situations from retail, airlines and sometimes even indoor navigation.
Talking about its varieties
We have three different kinds of Beacons from three different giants:
iBeacon-It is the first of its kind.If Beacons are devices with antenna and the BLE stack that can send information,then iBeacon is like a layout of such kind of information.It is a product of Apple but enables Android and other devices also to see those beacons. Wide support, simple and easy implementation and its dependable performance on iOS are the best features attached to iBeacons.
AltBeacon- It was launched in 2014.The main purpose of designing this beacon protocol was to eradicate the problems of protocols from favouring vendor to the other.AltBeacon is owned by Radius Networks. The main advantage of it being open source,its compatibility with other mobile operating platform and its flexibility.
In a way we can say that, it’s a Google invention to alternate iBeacon.It is exposed to widening by the internet at large.Along with other features that an iBeacon can offer,it also adds more real world context to it.
It is like an open book.Its conditions are announced openly on the web,so that anyone can access it and contribute to it.If you have an innovative idea to improve your experience with Eddystone,you are free to submit.Finally its both Android and iOS compatible and is considered to be the most booming and potential beacon format.
Beacons-Are they really a matter of importance?
Yes it is! It matters because of its context.Be it anything,a person can get himself related and interacted with it,depends on how relevant the context it is.They can be used in different contexts, from knowing someone’s location,to their preferences,brand,colours,styles,grocery needs etc and so on.It also helps marketers to create an environment that is neither digital nor physical.And it focuses on what is being said and how relevant it is.
What’s in store for Beacon technologies
It is almost 3 years since its invention and still growing.Beacons came as a revolution especially when a commonly used device like an iphone,was able to sense location with the help of a small battery powered radio device.With its invention,one of the most important concern was removed,that is the frictions in user interactions.And Eddystone has a pre-programmed website URL and it helps in fetching contextual data,from simply a web browser instead of having many apps.
If you look in to the significance of Beacons in every field,very quickly you will understand where it is going.It is a fact that Beacons make it possible to build real apps on top of physical locations that are object oriented.It is such a pleasure to watch the big fishes including Apple and Google to have fully taken charge of Beacons. Consumers always look forward to see what is up next.Many more inventions and innovations are yet to come..Stay connected!!