Beacons are a new technology that will make it easier to do business with customers in stores, at trade shows and other places where there is a lot of foot traffic. This new technology allows store owners to interact with customers based on their location within the store and their buying habits. The information is collected by tiny Bluetooth devices that are placed around the store and broadcast signals to anyone who has an app that is open and looking for beacons.
Beacon technology is a way that businesses can communicate with their customers through mobile devices like phones and tablets. The business will place a small device, called a beacon, at its location. When the customer passes within the range of the beacon, which is about 100 meters, the beacon will send out a unique identifier (UUID) to nearby phones. This allows the business to deliver messages to the customer's phone that are customized based on their interests and needs. For example, if you walked by a clothing store that was using beacons, you might receive an alert on your phone letting you know there's a sale on shirts today. Or maybe you’re in the market for some new headphones, so when you pass by Best Buy and their beacon sends out its UUID to your phone, you see an advertisement for their current sale on Bluetooth headphones. It's all about delivering relevant content to customers at the right time and in the right place.
Beacons are devices that send out signals that can be picked up by a user's phone. This can be helpful to businesses because it enables them to send targeted messages to people in their vicinity, but it also has the potential to create a privacy problem.
I was first exposed to beacon technology when I saw a Facebook ad for a company called Estimote. They were advertising beacons that could be placed around stores and used to track users' behavior. For example, if a user walks into an electronics store and walks over to the refrigerators, the store could send them messages about sales on refrigerators. If they're looking at TVs or cameras, the store could send them messages about those products instead. Beacons can also give information about how many people are in a certain part of the store at one time or how much time certain customers spend in certain parts of the store. This might seem intrusive, but companies claim it's all for customization and improving customer service.
Some businesses already use location-based data collection devices like Wi-Fi triangulation and GPS, but these technologies have limitations that beacons don't have—for example, Wi-Fi only works indoors and GPS isn't very precise. Unlike these other technologies, beacon devices only require a