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 … 

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While the underlying technology is exactly the same – with the same Bluetooth LE beacons able to broadcast information to both services – Samsung does appear to be taking a slightly different approach in the way that information is delivered.

With iBeacon, retailers and other businesses wanting to send alerts do so via their own iPhone app. Samsung is apparently baking support for Proximity right into its Android overlay, so it’s always on. Businesses have the option of offering customers their own app, but it isn’t a requirement.

While this is good news for retailers – who will be able to send alerts to visiting customers whether or not they are running the store’s own app – it’s not yet clear whether it will be good news for owners of Samsung phones: the company hasn’t provided any detail on how people choose which alerts they do and don’t want to receive.

No timings have yet been announced: Samsung is currently working on signing-up businesses.

Apple of course has a substantial head-start, with its iBeacon service already in use in a wide range of businesses, including retail stores like Macy’s, American Eagle, DisneyThe Bay, Lord & Taylor and Walmart – and such diverse locations as MLB stadiumsairports, restaurants and even small businesses.

Apple’s rollout of the service appears to be paying off for iBeacon partners, with early usage suggesting it leads to increased app usage, ad engagement, purchase intent and sales.

Via Engadget

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