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If you own a business, whether it’s a consumer goods or services firm, or just a software development company, then the idea of beacons may be something of interest to you.
With the aim of improving mobile visibility and enhance the mobile experience, technology has seen dramatic improvement since it was launched in 2013.
Despite the fact that beacons are widely used just about anywhere, only a few truly understand what they are. Let’s take a look at what the beacons technology is and how it works.
Overview of Beacons
Beacons are small electronic tools that emit Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals to other smart devices nearby. In turn, BLE is a wireless personal area network technology mostly used in short distances for data transmission and reception.
It has a similar communication range with Classic Bluetooth. However, BLE comes with lower energy consumption and maintenance costs, and higher complexity in terms of application usage.
Beacons have been generating interest since 2013 with the introduction of the iBeacon by Apple. Other companies such as Google have also begun adopting beacons into their respective solutions.
These devices allow businesses and software design companies alike to take advantage of the portability of smartphones through location-based advertising and other services.
Hotels now use beacons for door security, while restaurants and retailers take advantage of providing promotions and coupons with beacons. Other popular uses for these devices include the fields of professional sports, airlines, and auctions.
How Do Beacons Work?
The beacons themselves operate in a simple manner. Each beacon device contains a radio, batteries, and a CPU, and then constantly broadcasting an identifier through the BLE. These signals are usually picked up by mobile phones and mark out their positions in any environment.
Communication by these beacons allows the transmitting of small data packets, such as advertisements. They are fired by Beacons or other BLE enabled devices at regular intervals via radio waves.
These packets of data can then be received by devices such as mobile phones, where they can be used for countless applications such as prompt warnings, app notifications, and messages.
A standard BLE can have a broadcast range of up to 100 meters, and with longer battery life, makes beacons ideal for close-range tracking and awareness for users.
Advantages of Beacons
Better Interaction between Producers and Consumers
Beacon technology and their attached proximity data can provide the ability to create more interactive experience and insights for retailers and customers.
For instance, beacons help marketing strategists on receiving daily customer data such as average store times and the most visited product sections. Advertising can then be adjusted to ensure that other less noticeable products are made more visible to customers.
Beacons can be of advantage for business because of a low cost. The technology is easy to install and implement. As such, beacons can be more appealing especially for start-up companies.
Mobile apps are more likely to be noticed when beacons are applied. This is due to the fact that beacons often serve as “reminders” to users who seemingly forget the presence of the app on their phone.
Engagement between retailers and customers alike has been reported to increase by 400% due to beacons installed in apps. It is therefore far more useful and engaging for all stakeholders.
Beacons make the idea of developing a business app more profitable. They are definitely efficient and easy to use. This technology allows faster and more engaging interactions especially between businesses and their respective consumers.
What’s more, they are affordable for every aspiring entrepreneur. Lastly, using beacons increases the chances of your apps and other products getting noticed by your target audience.
A low-risk but worthwhile tool, beacons will remain vital for years to come.