Could iBeacon technology change the world as we know it?
While there are already plenty of well-known mobile apps making use of location data as a way to improve user experience, the introduction of iBeacon technology looks as though it will be a revolutionary step in expanding these opportunities.
Launched with Apple iOS 7, iBeacon is a new location-based innovation that makes it possible for sensors to detect almost exactly how far away a phone is. This level of accuracy is made possible by Bluetooth 4.0 low-energy technology. iBeacon will offer businesses the chance to provide new services designed to enrich the experience of the average phone user.
The potential power of iBeacon
The technology will open the door for a whole host of exciting, new location-based innovations. While apps such as Google Maps and Foursquare have long used location data to help enhance experiences, iBeacon will make it much easier for businesses to take this to the next level.
For example, with the new technology, customers could be pinged with a discount coupon when they're standing next to a particular product in store. Or, their proximity could enable payments at the point of sale, making it possible for customers to pay for goods or services using their smart phones.
iBeacon can be seen as an important step along the road to a fully functional Internet of Things (IoT), making it even easier to create home technology that is fully responsive and remotely controlled. For example, iBeacon technology could be used to design an app that will automatically switch on an oven or kettle when the user comes home – all relatively cheaply.
Analysing important information
iBeacon technology will also offer businesses some fantastic opportunities to gather feedback and information about the shopping or daily habits of users. By collecting highly accurate information about user behaviour and preferences, such as how long they spend browsing in physical shops or how many different shops they visit before making a buying decision, businesses will be able to adapt marketing plans and better target promotions. In short, iBeacon will make it easy for businesses to target customers in a more specific way than they've ever been able to.
For businesses to be able to enjoy these benefits, they will have to find ways to calm potential privacy fears. Some customers may be worried about allowing businesses to access so much information about their buying habits or lifestyle. The best way to combat these concerns will be to ensure full and transparent disclosure, and to offer technologies that will make the customers' life more convenient in a way that is just too tempting to pass up.
Could your business benefit from looking more deeply into the development of services around iBeacon technology? Now is the time to find out.