Simplicity, the user experience, and location / context is why iBeacon increasingly looks better than NFC related solutions like PayWave. This article (linked below) is a must read if you are a retailer. Proximity and Context Marketing are big areas to watch and start testing now. What I like is rather than wait to the end of the shopping experience iBeacon turns it all around. It enables a better relationship and experience to happen from the time one gets close to the store. By encouraging smartphone use and interaction while shopping the seller may be one step closer to creating a more powerful relationship. Redefining how we pay can come a little later.
In the age of context, iBeacon can provide the information you needed when it is needed. Just like NFC, iBeacons even allow you to pay the bill using your smart phone. The best part? iBeacon can run for up to two years on a single coin battery and it comes with accelerometer, flash memory, a powerful ARM processor and Bluetooth connectivity. Also, you can add more sensors to iBeacon to provide better context.
This video shares a museum example and becomes more technical. As they note you can buy beacons and also use your iOS devices as a beacon. What it allows is distance awareness and thus is much more powerful than NFC or WiFi solutions. Future examples will be interesting. Not just at the entrance to stores, even person to person type intros depending on proximity and context. And don’t expect adds to be served to people running past a store. Motion detection will know they are in a hurry.
See Estimote a company making iBeacons for retail deployment. They have some examples on their site. Importantly this technology can personalize offers to an individual. Over time this can change how products are displayed and merchandised. Example would include. This would look good with the jeans you bought last month. Today 20% off. While another person gets a completely different offer.
Forbes is also equally excited and AppleInsider refers to the Ad0maly ad network. So as these reports say – it is now iBeacon season. Note PayPal announced a solution too for development although launch is sometime next year.
Expect this to appear in Starbucks soon at least in test. It could really help with grocery shopping too. Safeway? In small stores it could present a wonderful way to capture and bring in new customers. It’s underestimated how much personalized service is wanted and desired. This is true in both big and small stores. The technology discussion here should keep focused on how it builds a better experience. Otherwise it will fail or will be ignored.