Beacons are small wireless devices which use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to establish a connection with devices close to them. These Bluetooth-enabled devices use BLE to transmit a signal on a continuous basis. Devices like smartphones and tablets pick this signal within a certain distance, usually ranging from few feet to few meters. For a device to pick up the signal being transmitted by the beacon, it needs to have relevant apps installed on it. Once the smartphone recognizes the signal of the beacon, it begins communication with the server to determine whether the device has anything relevant to share. It is important to note that beacons by themselves do not transmit any content or messages. Their primary job is to establish communication with devices in their proximity. It is strictly a one-way communication; the beacon communicates with the app on your phone, but the phone cannot talk to the beacon.
How can beacons help marketers?
Beacons make use of proximity technologies to detect human presence and identify their behavior pattern. It is a very important feature which makes them extremely popular with marketers. Identification of human purchasing behavior and shopping patterns allows marketers to establish a close and more engaging relationship with their customers. They can send personalized and contextual push messages to their present and target customers informing them about important upcoming events, sales, etc.
Beacons connect both online and offline worlds
Retailers who have both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce presence are increasingly making use of Beacons to boost their sales. It is not hard to decipher as they can use beacons to track the movements of customers within a retail spot, and the products that arouse their interest. They can then guide them to their online portal where they can build consumer loyalty by offering quality products at fair prices.
Eddystone and iBeacon
These are the two main broadcasting protocols for Bluetooth beacons communication. Eddystone comes from Google’s stable whereas Apple developed iBeacon. It is important to remember that both of these are protocols and not pieces of hardware you can buy from a physical store. If you are still confused, you can take these as the languages beacons use when they are trying to establish communication with the outer world.
You should download this important tool from Ekahau site if you run a small business or Wi-Fi connection inside your house. It allows you to map your Wi-Fi network to make it more secure and efficient.