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What is Beacon? – How does Work, States, Benefits, and More

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Technology

What is Beacon?

Beacon is a technology based on the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) transmission principle. It allows automated and low-consumption communication between transmitters (so-called beacons) and receivers (smartphones, tablets, or smartwatches).

So that the relevant content can be consulted and made available by the receiver based on their local geological data, the application scenarios are mobile shopping, geolocation-based marketing, Bluetooth marketing, and various applications in mixed reality and augmented reality.

How does Beacon Work?

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The establishment installs the sensors in strategic areas to interact with customers. In this way, the information sent to smartphones in real-time. This technology is compatible with any device. All you need is Bluetooth 4.0. Mobile applications are fundamental.

The applications are necessary to read the content of the signals emitted by the beacons. It is the person who will use each tag that needs to make the content. The good idea is to use platforms that automate data analysis to deliver personalized content.

1. General Information

  • Nokia introduced BLE technology in 2006. To transmit power in one direction (that of the receiver), BLE technology uses much less power than conventional Bluetooth devices.
  • A beacon usually equipped with a battery that guarantees its operation for about three years.
  • The reason Beacon became accessible to the general public relatively quickly was because of Apple.
  • The company unveiled its proprietary iBeacon framework in 2013 and brought it to market through a licensing process.
  • Manufacturers and developers who want to use Beacon technology must first request a license from Apple and then use the SDK (Software Development Kit).
  • And various APIs and program libraries design custom use cases and provide users with information at the point of interest.
  • Devices with newer operating systems are usually compatible with Beacon technology.

2. Operating Principle

  • Beacon technology base on relatively small transmitters that transmit Bluetooth signals at regular intervals in your environment.
  • They did not design as receivers but merely act as a boost to the receiving device. The beacons remain passive and only send the data necessary for identification and location.
  • Signals sent at short intervals make a signal region.

States of Beacon

Beacons transmit three states of information:

  1. A Universal Unique Identifier (UUID) sends unique information to a distributed system made up of multiple components. Each Beacon has its UUID. The thread of numbers and letters is 16 bytes in size.
  2. The more considerable value has the function of defining signal regions or use cases.
  3. The smaller value can use to determine other subregions or use cases. For example, individual departments within a signage region, such as clothing, shoes, or household items.
  4. The Major and Minor values ​​are 2 bytes each. A mobile application installs on the end device that processes these signals.
  5. The application identifies the signal transmitter (s) and measures the distances between the transmitters and receivers in the room.
  6. At least four beacons must install to be accurate enough in three-dimensional space.
  7. Especially powerful beacons can transmit their signals up to a distance of 450 meters. However, signal lights are sensitive to obstacles such as people, walls, or furniture – the range reduce in these cases.
  8. As soon as the receiving devices have determined the relatively precise positions, a subsequent process can start.
  9. For example, they launch an app for mobile payment apps or deliver relevant content to a specific point in the store to offer customers suitable products.
  10. Push messages or social media apps are also possible. The tasks or processes that initiate by the sender-receiver communication depend on the individual use case.

Benefits of Beacon

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Brands

If you ask a marketing manager for the definition of a tag, they will probably tell you that it is a tool for developing their strategies, and with good reason. The potential and the benefits that this technology can offer are vast. It only depends on the use made of it.

In marketing, tags can help you do the following:

1. Create Proximity Marketing Campaigns

  • The beacons will allow you to enter the present moment of users via their mobiles. So, depending on your activity and the situation of a given user, you can perform exercises that will cause that user to take action.
  • Say you are placing beacons at an airport. You can invite users to download gaming apps for waiting areas, offer them discounts at cafes, or send them targeted information about their flight or destination, among other things. Let your imagination run wild and give shape to your ideas.

2. Offer Exclusive Offers in Specific Locations

  • Beacon signals operate within a radius of 50 meters. This will allow you to locate a user within this perimeter and perform actions with this limitation in mind.
  • To explain this type of campaign, remember the first example cited, with wine and cheese brands in a supermarket.
  • You can initiate offers by creating requirements when users are willing to receive them.

3. Improve Security and Information

  • Imagine that you are at a festival and want to find your tent, bar, or a meeting point. Beacons use to geolocate users without GPS.
  • So even the International Festival of Creativity in Cannes has used this technology to inform visitors of changes in conference schedules or to help them find lost friends there.
  • If you are preparation to organize a major event, the beacons might help you.

4. Know the Users Better

  • If there’s anything we care about in marketing, it knows everything about our target market.
  • Thanks to cookies, we know their digital behaviour, so why not go further and discover their habits in real life?
  • The places they go in a store attract them the most to a fair or how long they spend in front of the products in a storefront, whatever comes to mind.
  • And that’s great for being able to personalize actions and get more conversions.

Users

1. Relevant Information in Real-Time

  • Imagine walking into stock and having an employee attend to you and offer you the products you are looking for.
  • That’s not all: imagine that this employee brings you the solutions before you even tell them what you are looking for.
  • Not to reference the fact that he might call you by name, although that might be less pleasant.
  • In addition, with the help of tags, companies can send you real-time information about the products you are looking for, the ones in front of you, and the ones that intrigue you.
  • For example, if you are in a clothing store and looking for shoes, you can get information on the correct associations between highs and lows.
  • All of this makes the shopping experience more pleasant, convenient, and straightforward.

2. Internal Navigation

  • Let’s put ourselves in a situation. You are at an airport, and you are not sure where to check your baggage for your next flight.
  • Tags can give you answers through their connection. They can locate you, pinpoint the exact location of your flight gate, and show you how to get there.

3. Efficient Service and Fast Payments

  • We don’t always have the time to go shopping: this is one reason we shop more and more on the Internet.
  • However, if you need to see firsthand what you’re doing, beacons can simplify the showroom.

4. Offers and Reductions

  • We are not always attentive enough to the emails or offers that reach us. So when you buy a product, you don’t know if it is on a discount or reduces in the coming days.
  • One of the advantages of beacons for consumers is knowing about offers in real-time when they are in the right place.

5. Reduction of Waiting Times and Queues

  • You got out of work quickly to buy coffee, but you don’t have much time.
  • Order it online on your phone on the way to the cafeteria, and as soon as you walk, a clerk prepares it for you. Wouldn’t that be convenient?

6. Opt-in and Opt-out (Refuse or Accept)

  • From the consumer’s point of view, the essential feature of tags is deciding whether or not to share their position in each application.
  • Beacons can only work if Bluetooth turns on. It is your choice to receive solicitations or not. This way, you will avoid intrusive communications, and brands will know that your interest is genuine if you have Bluetooth turned on.
  • In summary, while the businesses that use beacon technology, the consumers benefit the most.
  • However, tags allow you to learn more about your potential customers and find plenty of other customers you weren’t thinking of.
  • That said, you don’t have to give up on the rest of the lead capture techniques. The ideal is to combine strategies.

Conclusion

The Beacon is a small physical box that uses a Bluetooth connection. And also, it emits signals at regular intervals, read directly by a smartphone or tablet when it comes close to the beacons.

These devices can estimate the distance to the beacon by comparing the signal level they receive (RSSI) with a reference level.

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