With the rapid advancement of technology, science fiction is becoming more and more a part of everyday life. Beacon technology is one of those technological advancements that was once only a figment of the imaginations of many researchers before it became a reality. Look at how beacon technology is evolving and transforming our business world in the following section.
What exactly is a beacon?
A beacon is a small, battery-powered, wireless, low-cost sensor that has a built-in Bluetooth chip device that operates on Bluetooth Low Energy. Beacons are becoming increasingly popular (BLE). It enables Bluetooth-enabled devices to receive data from a distance of only a few meters.
The beacon device has been designed in such a way that it is simple to install anywhere and can be used effectively by anyone at any time. As long as the beacon is within range of a device, it will broadcast a radio signal, which will be picked up by the device and used to trigger actions in the smartphone app based on the proximity of the beacon. What distinguishes beacon technology from other forms of wireless communication is its ability to “wake up” an app that is not currently open on a smartphone but has been downloaded. A Comprehensive Examination of Beacon Technology
The majority of beacons make use of BLE technology (Bluetooth Smart Technology) because it consumes little energy and has a low implementation cost. Due to the limitations of the technology, only small amounts of data can be transmitted, which is why the vast majority of beacons only transmit their IDs.
The IDs of beacons are composed of three values: A universally applicable distinctive identifier (UUID) is the most significant benefit.
Only a minuscule worth
When a beacon transmits its ID, it serves the purpose of distinguishing it from all other beacons in the network. Major and minor values are integer values that have been assigned to the beacon in order to improve the accuracy of its identification. A beacon also transmits information about the strength of its signal, which can be used to determine the distance between the source and the beacon. iBeacon
The name is a trademark owned by Apple Inc., and it was first introduced at the World Wide Developer’s Conference in 2014 as part of the company’s iOS 7 operating system. In iOS 7 and later operating systems, it is a technological innovation by Apple that has been implemented in the location framework to improve the user experience. The iBeacon, as previously described, makes use of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to detect proximity and transmit a UUID, which triggers an action in a compatible application or operating system. Eddystone
A game-shifting development
In response to iBeacons, Google launched its own beacon project called Eddystone on July 14, 2015, which takes a more open and flexible approach than the previous project. Eddystone is a Bluetooth Low Energy beacon format developed by Google that is open-source and cross-platform.
While Apple’s iBeacon can only be used with iOS devices, Eddystone can be used with both Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. The difference between them and iBeacons is that they broadcast not only their UUID but also pre-programmed web page URLs, and as a result, they do not necessitate the installation of specific apps. In some cases, the URL can be a regular web page that contains relevant information; for example, an illuminated beacon next to an establishment can broadcast a link to a YouTube video or a link to its specialty menu. Eddystone will, without a doubt, introduce new Internet of Things applications.
Beacons Have Been Empowered
As a result of the dramatic increase in the use of beacon technology, businesses are investing in this technology in order to generate greater revenues. A brief description of how beacon technology is being utilized and the benefits it provides to the retail industry has been provided in this section.
Retailing With Insight
Both small-time retailers and major brands have seen a decline in foot traffic and in-store sales as a result of the rapidly expanding e-Commerce industry. In-stores have realized that they must compete with e-commerce in terms of personalized offers and shopping experiences, and they have begun to adapt.
Beacons are thus expected to have a significant impact on retail, which will include everything from proximity marketing to contactless payment systems and in-store analytics. By the end of the year 2016, it is expected that beacon technology will be used by 85 percent of the retail industry worldwide. Beacons may appear to be a fad today, but consider some of the revolutionary aspects of their design and implementation.
Using beacons, stores can send location awareness alerts, product updates, and promotional notifications to encourage passersby to enter the store. It can also be used to analyze customers who pass by the store and the length of time they spend in it. This analysis will aid in the formulation of strategic decisions regarding product presentation.
Beacons are used for in-store navigation and to provide real-time analytics, such as the following:
- The areas and items that a customer enjoys discovering and purchasing
- Where does a customer spend the majority of her/his time? When
- does he go out and buy something?
- The majority of in-store locations are hurried.
- Empty shelves in retail establishments
- The busiest days of the year for the store
Every day, a large number of people come into their store. Customer behavior and store performance can be better understood through data. This analysis will assist retailers in organizing their products, pricing their products, and placing their products in strategic locations on strategic days and times as a result of their findings.
Because retailers are aware of the customers who return to the store on a regular basis, they can offer them discounts and other incentives to increase their business. Customer journeys in-store are made more personalized and unique thanks to the Beacon. It retrieves information from a customer’s wish list and notifies him when he comes across a product that matches that list.
It also makes product recommendations based on price, quality, and special offers in order to improve the in-store shopping experience. Customers who have already set up their payment information on their smartphone can use a connected beacon to complete their purchase by processing their payment (also known as contactless payment) without having to wait in long lines at the cash register. When a payment is received, the stock will be automatically updated to reflect the change.