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BEACONS: What They Are, How They Work, And Why

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Like iPhone, Android, Googling, Tethering, Hotspot, Blogging, Tweeting……it’s a new word for us to use in the ever expanding digital landscape. To state the obvious: Modern, smartphone-toting humans spend most of their time indoors. But indoor spaces often block cell signals and make it nearly impossible to locate devices via GPS. “Beacons” are a solution.

Beacons are a low-cost piece of hardware, small enough to attach to a wall or countertop that use battery-friendly, low-energy Bluetooth connections to transmit messages or prompts directly to a smartphone or tablet. They are poised to transform how retailers, event organizers, transit systems, enterprises, and educational institutions communicate with people indoors.

Retail outlets are adopting beacons to provide customers with product information, flash sales or deals, and to speed up the checkout process with a completely contactless payments system.

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Half of North American adults already utilize their mobile devices in stores. Consumers could also use them to inexpensively automate their homes. For example, beacons could turn on lights in a room as soon as someone with a smartphone has entered them, or open doors or window shades.
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There are barriers to wide adoption of beacon technology.  There are several layers of permissions. Customers have to turn on Bluetooth, accept location services on the relevant app and opt-in to receive in-store or indoor notifications.

The applications go beyond retail. You can expect beacons to be deployed all over airports and ground transit hubs so that notifications on departures, delays, and gate and platform assignments can be delivered instantly to passenger phones. They will likely find a place in marketing properties in real estate with information available as you enter an open house or scheduled showing.

We have been hearing about this marketing technology for a few years.  It seems to be rolling out now.  It will be interesting to watch how well it settles into our day-to-day lifestyle. 

[Source: businessinsider.com]

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Jackie Carron Home Selling Team
Keller Williams Neighbourhood Realty Inc. Brokerage
2968 Dundas St W, Suite 303
Toronto, Ontario
M6P 1Y8

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