When you look back at the last ten years, you will know how far the internet technology and marketing trends have brought us in terms of convenience and facilities. From headless commerce to mobile commerce and cross-platform development, the digital world is constantly pouring with trends and technology that can revive the way we live our lives these days. Interestingly, beacon technology is also one of them, originally developed for mobile apps to benefit customer engagement up to higher extents.
Beacons are tiny wireless transmitters used to send signals to surrounding smart devices with the help of low-energy Bluetooth technology. Beacons are highly deployable, cost-effective, and useful for the retail and marketing sector. In fact, many other enterprises across different industries have embraced the concept of beacon technology in their operational design.
In this post, we will bring into light the origin of beacon technology along with different types and benefits:
What is Beacon Technology?
Beacon Technology is associated with the Internet of Things networks that involves the establishment of indoor and outdoor positioning systems into proximity navigation. This proximity technology detects the human presence in the surrounding & delivers a customized experience accordingly. This latest marvel of technology is used for automating programmed systems and applications as per needs.
Beacon Technology for Mobile Apps – How It All Started?
Beacon Technology can be better understood with the example of a lighthouse. Ships in the sea get guidance from a lighthouse to identify where the land is. Similarly, a beacon device follows a guiding technique to help smart navigation systems to procure data and information for smartphone users. This method has been in the realm for quite some time, but its use in mobile app development and customization provides an entirely new context.
Tech-giant organizations like Google and Apple gave it a shot back in 2013 to spawn improved solutions. Beacon technology gained a lot of attention shortly after the initial trials, and many other start-ups went on to come up with different types. Its popularity proliferated with unified inventions of virtual reality and augmented reality, mainly because of its productivity and cost-effectiveness. Above all, scalable personalization and streamlined accessibility proved to be the cherry on top for users. At present, many retail companies are using this diversified option for employing ease and automation in their business.
Beacon Technology & Mobile Apps – How Exactly Does It Work?
Beacon devices most preferably work on a ‘detect & inform’ system in which the notifying part is accomplished with the help of a mobile app. When a person walks past a beacon-infused IoT network, the closest beacon transmits the code to the mobile device as a pop-up notification. A complete beacon-based system consists of one or more beacon devices, a smartphone application, and users’ permission. The functionality of a beacon technology system entails the following
- Software development kit – The first and foremost phase of beacon technology includes SDK (software development kit), backend tools, and several beacon devices. An experienced software professional sets up the positioning system of devices to create an unfailing IoT network.
- User permission – Once everything fits in its place, user permission comes in order. This phase gives users the freedom to decide whether they want to receive the notification about the positioning or not. This technology necessitates smartphones and mobiles apps to alleviate the custom options.
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Bluetooth is the most prominent element of beacon technology and mobile apps because it affects the functionality of a proximity system and users’ choice over it. This is another major reason why this form of user engagement is considered far less intrusive than other tech-oriented customer services.
Blue Low Energy (BLE) is the fundamental ground of performance that enables the transmission process between beacon devices and smartphone applications. Experts suggest that a beacon requires a single coin cell battery every three years for proper functioning. It costs approximately 60% less than conventional Bluetooth devices.
Types of Beacons
Standard beacons – The most basic types of beacons are as big as a wi-fi router. These are helpful in proximity tracking. Portable beacons are smaller than standard ones specifically created for asset tracking solutions.
Deployable USB beacons – Smaller the size, better the efficiency! USB beacons can be compared with the size of a flash drive. These beacon devices work precisely for proximity solutions and asset monitoring.
Video beacons – These types of beacon devices are applied on the back of a digitally tailored screen that stores use to display certain information. You may have seen these arrangements in food joints, administration offices, hospitals, banks, etc.
AI beacons – These beacons work for devices that hinge on machine-driven detection for varying movements. People often confuse AI beacons with the smallest sized beacons (sticker beacons) whereas there is a significant difference between them.
Parent beacon – This category of beacons helps in tracking down other beacons and collect their data in the cloud. These beacons are usually bigger than other numerous kinds of beacons.
Custom beacons – Custom beacons or dedicated beacons require extreme precision for exogenous effect. These devices are resistant to water, dust, and harsh environmental conditions and therefore custom beacons are apt for indoor tracking and proximity solutions.
Benefits of Beacon Technology (Relevance with Development of Mobile App)
Beacon technology can elevate the stature of mobile app development companies in India. Service providers who can customize their app design solutions for beacon implementation can certainly expect a giant leap in their collective business. Aside from technology firms, retail and marketing companies can also look forward to burgeoning prospects of growth and improvements in the upcoming years. Let’s look over some major benefits of beacon technology that can transform the business practices in India:
Simplification of In-&-Out Business Operations
Businesses that deal in retail and similar categories require thorough management practices for frontend and backend operations. With beacon technology implementation and custom app integration, a sale-oriented business can induce lucrative communication with the buyers to elevate sales effortlessly. A retail store can use tailored beacon devices to notify the users about the latest offers, discounts, personalized promotions, and other related details.
Beacons also accentuate the backend functionalities of a store such as indoor management, warehouse monitoring, easy navigation, and much more. With the help of custom mobile app development services, beacons can enhance the security system with streamlined asset tracking and on-premises positioning.
Better Understanding of Customers’ Choices
The marketing division of any given enterprise in India and overseas looks up to a derived form of technology for assessing the needs of the target audience. There are different types of beacons, and all of them can be put to remarkable uses for addressing user experience in a wider perspective.
Recently, an energy drink brand used beacon technology to gather collective data on the audiences in a music event. Researchers used the collected data for formulating an algorithm that can specify the impact of the product on different customers. Although, this experiment didn’t use any mobile app, and this kind of technical arrangement needs higher investments.
Redefined Means of Services
Beacon technology can change the way we get our daily supplies at home and order crucial things online. When integrated with a well-curated mobile application, beacons can redefine personalized services. Custom software development can help businesses identify their users’ preferences and augment their products & services accordingly.
Hospitality, sports, constructions, and event management companies can use security, navigation tracking, and proximity marketing of beacon technology to generate an efficient periphery for futuristic growth. Besides developing businesses, this method can also lead to drastic innovations in science and technology. This kind of arrangement can simplify the life of mankind.
Beacons Technology & Mobile Apps Development – Pros & Cons
Pros of Beacon Technology:
- The cost of using beacon devices doesn’t go high with the use of standard models for tracking. In fact, some top-quality small-sized beacon devices are far less expensive than many commonly used technologies. Configuration of beacon devices isn’t as obscure as it seems to the laymen. All sizes of beacons are just as easy to deploy as an ordinary computer accessory.
- Experienced mobile app development companies can customize software applications easily as per the navigational requirements of beacon technology. With the help of proper customization, any business can connect with its customers through tailored ads and notifications.
- Scalable adjustment is another prominent feature of beacon devices that elevates the reliability factor of this technology. Beacon devices depend on the effectiveness of Bluetooth and user permission that makes personalization of communication scalable.
- Beacon technology supports iOS 7, Android 4, and higher configurations. This way, you will reach a vast number of users by indulging in time-consuming social media promotion hassles.
- Mobile app development companies that include beacon technology in their expertise always offer a complete software development kit (SDK). It also includes a few backend tools which alleviate the technical integration in existing systems.
Cons of Beacon technology:
- We see the option of user consent in beacon technology implementation as a pro. But it often comes out to be a disadvantage as well. A plethora of mobile apps is available these days. Therefore, some of your users might want to phase you out because of the notification load by simply turning their Bluetooth off.
- Beacon technology doesn’t work with a mobile application customized specifically for applied devices and proximity settings. Are you willing to amalgamate this technology into your business? You must get in touch with a professional app development company to get ahead.
- The use of this innovation in retail and marketing makes the most sense because it involves a dynamic functional loop. Any enterprise that deals with the end-users frequently can consider this mode of improvement. But several business sectors still need a little revival of technology augmentation to gain the benefits this technology beholds for you.
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Google embarked on a mission to help local businesses grow in the United States by distributing free beacons in 2018. Aside from this noteworthy initiative, tech giants are working on different types of AI-stimulated beacons to reach the surface. Market analysts see this enhancement as a fresh and fab approach to customer service and support. Within a matter of time, more and more enterprises will be able to jump over the hurdles. Beacon technology can prove to be beneficial for mobile apps after all.
It will help them cross the boundaries of business growth with full-fledged technology adoption. Meanwhile, you can connect with a trustworthy mobile app development company in India like Trank Technologies. We can start with custom design and development solutions right away!