beacons Stories July 22, 2015

Chrome 44 for iOS brings beacon-powered Physical Web closer to reality, new gestures

The Physical Web is an open source web specification from Google released last year with the aim to make interacting with smart devices in the real world as easy as clicking a link, just as we do on the web. Now with the company having released its Eddystone beacon technology and APIs for making this communication between devices in the same proximity easier, it’s integrating Physical Web directly into Chrome for iOS.

The latest version of Chrome for iOS, version 44 available now in the App Store, brings Physical Web content to the “Today” view. The Today view, for those who don’t know, is a section within the iOS Notification Center panel, accessed by dragging down from the top of the screen, which contains quick glance information that you may want to access often, such as weather information, calendar events, etc. But developers can also make their own widgets for this section which could include this same sort of quick glance information pulled from their own apps, as well as action buttons to perform quick tasks – like checking into a location on Swarm, for example.

What this means for Physical Web is better visibility and increased potential for adoption. While beacons have yet to heavily saturate the world, they face a chicken and egg problem: without a way for end-users to actually receive information from devices they pass by in the physical world, developers and manufacturers don’t have the same kind of incentive to design, manufacturer, and sell, and invest in beacons, and vice-versa. Physical Web, though, takes advantage of Eddystone-URL, a language that Google’s Eddystone beacon technology can send information to end-user devices in. Now that the company has a full end-to-end beacon solution – the beacon software that device manufacturers can use in their beacon hardware, as well as deeper integration into end-user devices – it will be possible for web developers to get more native-like proximity functionality out of their apps.

In addition to support for Physical Web, today’s Chrome for iOS update also adds new swipe gestures for making navigation throughout the app easier. The app is available now in the App Store.

beacons Stories June 12, 2015

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With Apple’s new Wallet app in iOS 9, a revamped version of the old Passbook app with a name that better reflects Apple Pay integration, Apple will let marketers send out dynamic offers triggered by location or a user’s interests through iAd. Apple noted the feature on its blog for advertisers explaining that “marketers can reach loyal customers with specific messages that reflect the customers’ interests, or convert a new customer by presenting a reason to try something new.” expand full story

beacons Stories March 3, 2015

 

South by Southwest (SXSW) just launched its official mobile app ahead of the festival and alongside it announced plans for the world’s largest deployment of iBeacons to offer mobile app features triggered by the Bluetooth beacons. In total, more than 1000+ beacons will be deployed to pull it all off. SXSW thinks the features will “fundamentally change attendee’s experiences” by letting mobile app users network and navigate the event. expand full story

beacons Stories December 18, 2014

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McDonald’s is testing Bluetooth beacon-based offers in at least some of its locations as it pilots beacon platform Piper that works with both iOS devices using Apple’s iBeacon framework and other mobile devices. expand full story

beacons Stories November 25, 2014

The latest stats from Swirl Networks, the company behind a number of beacon deployments at high-profile retailers, shows that shoppers in the US are embracing Bluetooth beacons and along with it Apple’s iBeacon framework for app developers sending location sensitive notifications to users. More specifically, data collected from the company’s beacon deployments in recent months shows that beacons are influencing the way we shop with more than half engaging with the feature and many redeeming beacon offers when making purchases.  expand full story

beacons Stories November 19, 2014

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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. expand full story

beacons Stories July 14, 2014

Estimote iBeacon beacon screen grab

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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beacons Stories June 11, 2014

Contrast today is releasing a major update to Launch Center Pro for iPhone and iPad adding support for If This Then That and location-based actions. The update includes support for sharing GIF images from within the app using Giphy search integration (fun, right?) as well as support for scanning barcodes and QR codes from Launch Center Pro.

While there’s certainly a lot of potential with connecting web services to native apps using LCP and the IFTTT automation service, the location-based actions using geofencing and iBeacons unlock some really cool use cases for me personally… expand full story

beacons Stories March 6, 2014

SXSW-appOn top of the many uses for iBeacons we’ve seen in retail environments, event organizers are another group that have started taking advantage of Apple’s new Bluetooth tech recently. The MLB is deploying them in stadiums to send notifications to baseball fans, CES hosted an iBeacon scavenger hunt this year, and today we’ve found out the upcoming SXSW festival where Apple is hosting its latest iTunes Festival will also be using the technology.

Eventbase, the company that has been building the official SXSW festival app for a few years now reached out to let us know it will be deploying some iBeacons around the event this year to improve the experience. Specifically, it will be using the technology to “help attendees in Austin pick up their badge faster and get more involved in the sessions they attend.” One feature in the app will allow for real-time audience interaction during sessions: expand full story

beacons Stories January 6, 2014

We’ve already seen retailers and major venues like Macy’s, the Apple Store, MLB, and even CES implement iBeacon technology into their overall visiting experience, and today inMarket is kicking off its Mobile to Mortar campaign (via TechCrunch) to bring the Bluetooth LE beacons to over 200 grocery store locations and more. expand full story

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