Beacon technology was first introduced by Apple in 2013 and since then in just a short span of five years has become the corner stone technology for Internet of Things (IoT). In Aug 2017 Bluetooth states that beacon technology will become the foundation of the Internet of Things and later that same year Google pilots Project Beacon. If we are to go by just the statistics and reports then the technology is predicted to surpass revenue of 25 billion US dollars by 2024. Therefore it's safe to say that beacon technology is widely growing popular. In fact, if you happen to do business which involves any sort of marketing, then it is almost assured that beacon technology will improve your sale rates.
A Brief on Beacons
Beacon is a small device that allows you to create contextual experiences near or in an area where it’s installed. These wireless transmitters make use of bluetooth or Wi-Fi technology to send signals to other devices nearby. To put it very simply they connect and transmit information to other devices using location based searching. For example, when a user walks past an area where a beacon has already been set up, it sends a code with a message to the mobile device, or otherwise called an identifier. This coded message is shown in a form of a notification which can only be viewed with a mobile app model and provides a personalized approach to the client. Several studies have proven that a personalized approach to the client has resulted in over 65% more sales and it is also predicted the future of digital marketing itself will revolve around strategies and systems that favor more personalization. A beacon in itself will merely contain a CPU, radio and batteries. It works by repeatedly broadcasting to the identifier, the identifier in most cases is usually a mobile or some sort of portable device. The identifier has a unique ID number which the smartphone recognizes and once connected the beacon will carry out the information it is programmed to perform.
Different types of beacons.
- Standard beacons
- Small beacons
- USB beacons
- Parent beacons
These beacons have been classified mainly on the basis of size, battery life, and resistance to exogenous factors. There also exists ‘special beacons’ which have specific roles to play depending on the scenario.
Benefits of Beacons
- One of the biggest advantages of beacon technology is that it can improve offline attribution with Google ads. While many well established brands and firms spend millions each year in online advertising they need to understand that offline optimization is also equally important.
- One can easily notify the user within a specific range of your shop on the availability of any discounts or offers that maybe present.
- Another enormous advantage that beacon technology provides is that it is relative inexpensive when compared with other technologies that perform the same function and therefore large scale and small scale businesses can equally make use of it.
- The beacon also serves additional functions such as improving your reviews and also gathering more information on check-in. All of which will significantly improve your SEO ratings and ensure your business stands out from the others in the Google list.
Technical Aspects of a Beacon
- Most beacons start with an 18-24 month battery life, but there now exists beacons with energy-saving capabilities that can last over 5 years.
- A beacon can be made to transmit in an interval that is to our prefrenece. The smallest interval is in the range of few micro seconds
- The beacon will have a range that is equal to the Bluetooth range and there now exists that can share it up to 90 metres even.
- The increasing use of technology has now equipped accelerometers, light or movement sensors into the individual beacon.
While it's true that beacon technology is getting increasingly popular it also has its fair share of setbacks. For all the applications the beacon technology provides its liftoff to global popularity and acceptance has been a rather slow road than what was initially predicted, but nevertheless improvements have been made to its working and uses over time and its effectiveness has been on the increase from day 1.