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iBeacon technology in the retail space entered the mainstream market earlier this year with New York City stores advertising merchandise specials during the Super Bowl XLVIII weekend. The lightweight plastic device connects with the user’s smartphone via Bluetooth technology. Retail stores can then send coupons or store advertisements directly to the consumer while tracking shopping behaviors and habits.
This is especially important for targeting specific demographics. According to eMarketer, “32 percent of smartphone users use mobile apps for shopping at least monthly. The next generation of mobile shoppers, 18-24 year olds, spend two thirds of their online time using a smartphone or a tablet.”
The small, inexpensive tracking devices have the potential to take over larger markets with commercial/enterprise, asset tracking and personal location applications. ABI senior analyst Patrick Connolly states “The ability to bring clear ROI and efficiencies to these verticals without the need to increase things like basket size, means that this could become a hugely important area for companies to focus on.” The increasing demands in various verticals will also encourage manufacturers to make the products more cost effectively. This week, ABI Research said that beacons will be a 60 million-unit market in 2019 with projected revenues of $500 million from beacons alone.
A more practical usage in the foreseeable future includes iBeacon integration with taxi hailing apps such as Taxi Magic. A new product they are rolling out includes rewarding existing users by giving them ride credits, while encouraging new users to download and try their services. Jeff Pharr, Taxi Magic’s mobile development director is also seeking ways to integrate iBeacons and enable users to share fare payments. “There would be a nominal increase in battery usage during the time they are transmitting, but this should be negligible since you are only broadcasting for as long as it takes for someone to receive your referral code,” he says.
Innovations in mobile and manufacturing offer new possibilities of iBeacon technology that we at ARTÉMIA Communications are excited about. For the latest tech trends, sign up for our newsletter to keep informed!
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