This year one of the trends that has consistently created a buzz in the mobile app industry is location based marketing and targeting. While still at a nascent stage, it entails using location monitoring tool as a way to segment users and send them highly targeted messages, either by triggers or data. The two types of triggers that are being widely adopted are Beacon Technology and Geofencing. An insightful paper on how companies are leveraging beaconing to change the customer experience while shopping by Harvard Business Review and another industry report by Retail Week predicting Geofencing to be a hot trend in the retail space in 2014 extensively cover their utility and cite how they are likely to become ubiquitous in the future .
These two types of location targeting work on a service called BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) which is a variation on the Bluetooth. With Bluetooth no longer being viable for mobile as it drains battery quickly, the Bluetooth consortium has now come up with BLE, which uses far less battery and can be left on all the time without affecting the device’s battery life.
What is Beacon Technology?
Beacons are an indoor GPS and alert tool that can pinpoint your exact location down to a few feet. Beacons transmit and receive data with enabled apps on a person’s Smartphone to find their location making them one of the most efficient location targeting tools available. Beacons are installed in a growing number of retail establishments now.
What is Geofencing?
In Geofencing, one creates a virtual fence around a specific geographic area. When people get into the area, they can receive messages, alerts, coupons or other information sent to their mobile phone. It transmits messages within a fixed radius using coordinates. It is an opt-in which means that people have to sign up for it or subscribe to it to get that information. It is good for larger distances like cities. Good for small distances for ex: within a building with multiple floors.
Beacon Technology Vs Geofencing
(credit : Mashable.com)
Location Targeting At Work
Beacons are small indoor positioning devices that use low energy bluetooth (BLE) to seamlessly connect with Smartphones. Once connected, a beacon can exchange data with the Smartphone allowing it to pinpoint the location, push notification messages and call on app.. The battery life is long – thought to be 2+ years.
A Beacon placed anywhere in a shop, stadium, museum or any public place, can talk to a corresponding app on your Smartphone and work out where you are with accuracy down to a few inches. In an earlier blog - The Brave New World of Beacon Technology and Redefining Customer Engagement further explores the uses to which Beacon Tech is being put to use today.
By using BLE, brands are able to communicate with the phone to notify it of the pre-defined geo-fence and request that it contacts them should it enter the area. When the device enters the area, a message can be instantly sent to the user via the app.
Are you looking at creating a location aware app? We can help you contact us to discuss it further. Srishti Innovative is the technology services partner to leading businesses and offers end-to-end services for application development across all major platforms such as iOS, Android, BlackBerry & Windows. We have created over 1700+ applications for our client globally across key verticals such as Healthcare, Financial Services, Retail, Travel, Media and Entertainment. We are a team of experienced applications developers ready to take your digital offerings to the next level.