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Micro-location services enable you to digitally connect with people via their smartphone, based on their precise location in the real world. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons are the most commonly cited device enabling these experiences at scale due to their cost effectiveness and size. For 2 years they have been helping retailers and other businesses to bridge the gap between their online and offline channels as customers browse and buy at their convenience. Have a look at some of our case studies to see how we’re enabling these experiences in many different sectors.
Apple's beacon solution, iBeacon, arrived in 2013, and is tightly integrated into the iOS operating system. Google’s response has been a new platform named Eddystone. This is an open alternative to iBeacon and has been published openly on the web, so anyone can contribute. You can expect this technology to work its way into future Android updates providing the same tight level of integration you can receive with iBeacons on iOS. One of the beacon suppliers, Kontakt, have created this guide comparing the two formats. ibeacon vs eddystone_2
In the future, and subject to updates to operating systems, there is functionality in beacons for Eddystone to link to the physical web. At the moment beacons communicate in strings and numbers that only apps can recognise. Eddystone can also broadcast information that can be used natively by the phone. Perfect if you don’t have an app, or for customers who don’t have your app. This would allow 'silent' notifications with links to webpages to be sent to the phone. These would appear in the notification drawer.
To compliment the launch of Eddystone, Google is also launching two new services this week: the Nearby API and the Proximity Beacon API as it continues building a framework to support the Internet of Things. These APIs present location data to the operating system rather than an app, so everything on the smart device can use the location data. The result: Google will have a flow of precise location data that businesses can harness to offer a more personalised experience.
This should dramatically increase the installation of beacons around the world, as businesses seek to capitalise on increasing smart phone interactions and the beacons are natively integrated into the operating system.
The real winners will be the businesses that make the most of this trend. The ones who use this exciting technology to enhance their customer’s online to offline experience thus retaining and growing their customer base at the expense of those who are standing still.
Although developers can manage some of these location experiences themselves through the operating system, if you want the complete location experience then it pays to use a location specialist. For example, you could sign write your vehicle yourself, or you could use a specialist vehicle sign company.
Localz offers management of all types of location information from beacons to GPS, in real-time and at scale – we can integrate with almost anything. Therefore, if you are looking to use iBeacon or Eddystone, Localz can help you to leverage all technologies in one place.