Here’s why beacon networks are the way to go for retailers & app developers supporting iBeacon

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If you’re a retailer, you have two options when it comes to deploying Bluetooth beacons. You can deploy the hardware yourself and build an accompanying mobile app for the experience, or you can open the experience to existing apps that users already have on their device using a beacon network. Some retailers have decided they want to own the experience and have everything go through their own mobile app, but new data suggests that might not be the way to go. Read more

Samsung going head-to-head with Apple with iBeacon rival, Proximity

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The rivalry between Apple and Samsung looks set to enter a new field as Samsung has announced a direct competitor to iBeacon, called Proximity.

Samsung Proximity is a mobile marketing platform that connects consumers with places via cutting-edge Samsung location and context-aware technology.

With Samsung Proximity, visitors are able to experience rich content related to their location, and marketers can better engage with customers for increased sales and brand awareness.

The applications Samsung describes for the service are identical to those already in use with Apple’s iBeacon partners …  Read more

Apple will brief MFi accessory makers on HomeKit, Lightning headphones, iBeacon & game controllers next week

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Apple’s annual MFi summit, an event for accessory manufacturers in its Made-for-iPhone/iPad/iPod licensing program, will focus on getting accessory makers ready for new technologies including HomeKit hardware, iBeacon, Apple’s new Lightning headphones spec, and game controllers, according to Apple’s official event schedule. Read more

Apple and Disney Stores upgrading iBeacons and NFC scanners ahead of iPhone 6 launch

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Apple and longtime partner Disney this week are bolstering their stores with upgraded versions of iBeacon sensors and NFC readers, according to sources. Apple Stores have had iBeacons stationed throughout showroom floors for several months as a way to pinpoint exactly where a customer is within the store. This allows Apple to better serve customers by providing relevant sales information to their iPhones and iPads while in the store. The upgrades happening this week within Apple Stores place several new Gimbal Series 20 Proximity Beacons across stores to make location tracking within the store even more accurate.

In addition to providing relevant information for the Apple Store app, iBeacons can be useful for NFC mobile payment technologies as a form of authentication. If Apple knows where a customer is in the store to a precise degree, it can ensure that is it wirelessly connecting to the correct iPhone for mobile payments. As has been widely reported, the new iPhone 6 and upcoming Apple wearable device will include new wireless sensors (including a near field communication chipset) to conduct mobile payments with credit cards stored in an upgraded Passbook application.

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Condé Nast’s Epicurious teams up w/ Swirl for in-store iBeacon experience

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After announcing it would take advantage of iBeacons deployed by inMarket in grocery stores back in April, today Condé Nast’s Epicurious is announcing a partnership with another iBeacon network to further expand the context-sensitive notifications beamed to its users. Swirl, the same company behind recent beacon deployments in Hudson’s Bay Company and Lord & Taylor, will now deliver location-aware notifications to the Epicurious app via its network of beacons already deployed in retailers:

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Hudson’s Bay Company deploys iBeacon experience in The Bay and Lord & Taylor stores

It’s not the first department store with plans for iBeacons, but it’s certainly one of the biggest we’ve seen yet deploying the Bluetooth LE beacons that send shoppers location-aware, targeted notifications. Today Hudson’s Bay Company announced that it’s rolling out an iBeacon shopping experience in some of its 130 The Bay and Lord & Taylor department store locations across the US and Canada. Read more

Hillshire increases sales w/ iBeacon, 20x increase in purchase intent, 500x increase over average mobile ads

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With more and more retailers, event spaces, and others deploying Apple’s Bluetooth LE iBeacon technology in order to beam iPhone and iPad users context and location aware notifications, we still haven’t seen much data on how the beacons are improving ad engagement for marketers. InMarket, a company installing iBeacons in grocery stores around the country that talk to a number of apps from its advertising partners, today shared some of the first stats from a specific consumer brand using the platform.  Read more

Estimote introduces iBeacon power management tools for extending battery life

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Estimote, the company behind the iBeacons I tested in my Launch Center Pro 2.3 coverage and used by easyJet in select European airports, is introducing a round of improvements to its beacon product line and corresponding software today. The primary focus of the improvements deals with power management and how Estimote’s iBeacons consume battery. In short, Estimote’s iBeacons are getting smarter about how they connect and stay powered by adding two beacon power modes including Basic and Smart…

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Hundreds of businesses in London are about to flip the switch on payments via iBeacons

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In Brixton, South West London, hundreds of businesses will soon integrate iBeacons as part of one of the first real-world networks for mobile payments using Apple’s Bluetooth LE iBeacon tech

In Brixton, businesses introduced a local currency in 2009 that eventually switched from paper into mobile payments by text. Around 250 businesses in the area accept the currency, which is meant to keep the money in the community and support smaller independent local businesses. By the starting of next month, the currency will have its own mobile app called Brixton Pound, and iBeacons will make it easy to automatically prompt users for payments. The Brixton Pound organization teamed up with Dingo for the payment solution and kontakt.io for the iBeacon hardware and integration: Read more

iBeacons in retail stores blowing up app usage, ad engagement

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One of the big debates regarding iBeacons, the tech that allows iOS apps to receive location-aware notifications over Bluetooth LE, is whether or not the experience will become intrusive for users. Imagine having your local grocery store’s app installed. Once the store has installed a few beacons, you could soon find yourself overcome with notifications as you walk around without ever even opening the app. You run the risk of users getting frustrated and potentially avoiding or deleting the app entirely. However, that hasn’t been the case when it comes to the iBeacons installed by inMarket in grocery stores across the country. It tells us app and ad engagement has skyrocketed since rolling out the platform: Read more

Apple taps into M7 & motion sensors for indoor positioning in iOS 8, signing up venues to contribute

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In iOS 8, Apple is adding some new Core Location features that let app developers get precise indoor positioning data from an iOS device’s sensors and it’s even letting venues contribute by signing-up to get help enabling indoor positioning. We first exclusively detailed the new feature last year, which taps into the iPhone’s M7 processor and uses WiFi technologies to provide extremely accurate indoor mapping and navigation features to developers.  Read more