It’s not an imagination, if someone enters a house and his cell phone reminds him about WiFi to be turned on. iOS and Android phones have this technology. This functionality is based on GPS and its standard. So, if a smartphone can locate the position of its owner within 11 feet diameter, it cannot tell which floor he’s on. But it’s possible that your phone can remind you everything from your position to the list of things you need to perform.
You may be surprised to see your phone reminding you about the grocery list when you walk inside the kitchen; or tell you about bill payment when you open your laptop on the first day of the month. But, that’s a reality. Apple’s iBeacon technology debuted in 2013 with this feature, but it only works with company’s devices. Moreover, there aren’t too many retailers that offer support, except for some Apple stores or Baseball stadiums.
In this respect, Google’s Eddystone is a major breakthrough. It’s an open source software that helps BLE enabled hardware to communicate with Android and iOS devices. If you’re a local business owner, here is an insight to the possible future that will complement your local SEO Toronto efforts.
Bluetooth Low Energy Beacon
Eddystone technology powered devices can transmit signals to cell phones within specified radius, just like a lighthouse. They provide or store relevant information for smarphone users, just in case if they requested for it. A device with similar technology can pick up signals from these low energy Bluetooth resources, given that the device exists within beacon’s range.
It means, instead of you searching electronic bus schedules, a bus stop can tell you what bus goes to your destination, or whether you should take a cab. It may be implemented soon with added decision making features. Expect this system to update you with shopping centers and their special deals, coffee shops you like, or about your best friend close enough to pick you on the way.
Beacon Technology for Local Business
Since you’re concerned about your future, you should visualize what it should be when you associate Beacon technology. You might be able to develop apps to increase local access to your business. With the help of coupons, shopping assistance and other features, you may be able to entice customers through smartphone reminders, instead of them conducting “Near me” searches.
For example, a restaurant owner could utilize beacons for:
- Broadcasting special menus and offers to receptive devices within his reach
- Sharing freshly brewed coffee updates
- Offering directions to the people nearby, to access his restaurant
- Enabling customers to pay without using smartphones or wallet.
How To Benefit from Google Beacons
While it’s too early to actually implement this technology in business, you can always conduct an in-house testing. You would need the following:
- BLE beacon hardware which is compatible with Eddystone
- Your vision about the app and its benefits for customers
- A developer who’s acquainted with proximity and Nearby.
Hire a developer to create some easy-to-understand apps for local business, just to check how beacon-smartphone interaction can benefit you. Or, you may want to do it yourself.
You can start with your employees by registering their smartphones with the beacon. They can avoid high traffic places inside office, like printer or kitchen depending if a beacon can send them instant updates about the number of people gathered at these places.
It’s still too early to predict the future of beacon technology, but then, we didn’t expect mobile phones taking over other devices so quickly. There may be privacy issues and you may have to figure out ways to interact with customers individually.
With a fresh app, you can educate your customers how Eddystone technology works and how it can serve them. All in all, there is always a hidden advantage when dealing with technology, except for some obvious risks. Trend history indicates, businesses that adopt changes in technology always stay ahead of their customers. Do you want to be that business?