Beacon technology and connected brand experiences

Do you have Bluetooth? Are you ready to embrace the latest 21st century trend? If the answer to both of these questions is yes, then you are ready for Beacon Technology.

This new phenomenon involves the use of beacons to connect to smartphones, as well as certain other devices, with the aim of aiding navigation, delivering promotional alerts, or even switching off household appliances without the user so much as having to touch a button. Take a look below for some of the ways in which this technology is being exploited.

Let’s take McDonald’s as an example. The chain is currently trying out Beacon Technology in some of its American branches to detect smartphone users as they enter the store. Once detected, these phones will receive current McDonald’s deals, together with employment vacancies and customer surveys. The early signs have been extremely positive, with 8% and 7.5% increases in the sale of McChicken sandwiches and McNuggets respectively.

This technology is also being used to help the blind, with Microsoft’s 3D Soundscape Headset able to use beacons to provide the visually impaired with information about their position and what is going on around them. Users can also ask to be directed to certain destinations, and thanks to beacon devices positioned in the streets, users will hear certain sounds if they are heading in the wrong direction.

In order to accommodate its visually impaired audience, the headset delivers sound vibrations which make their way to the user’s inner ear. Whether on the streets, or in the subway, the blind population are set to benefit significantly from this latest innovation.

And of course, at the forefront of this technological revolution is the emperor of 21st century gadgetry – Apple. The technology giant’s iBeacon aims to turn users’ home entertainment experience into a trip through the past decade’s most out there futuristic films.

So fast is the evolution of the Beacon Technology that people will soon be able to turn on a light or a television by simply entering a room. Personal settings programmed into one’s phone will be read by these beacons, and various home comforts adjusted as a result. Who would have thought it!

This technology marks the arrival (as if we were not already aware), of the so called ‘millennial generation’ – a smartphone-oriented marketing world. This is not something that will go away, and 2015 is sure to see hundreds, if not thousands, of shops employing the technology.