Google intros Eddystone, its new open format for Bluetooth beacons – Empire State Tribune

If you’re not reaching, engaging, and monetizing customers on mobile, you’re likely losing them to someone else.

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It’s really interesting that everyone is coming back to beacons, because it is pushing us into a physical world of location identifiers where in many cases your device already knows where it is.

To put a beacon at a bus stop to tell you information about the bus services seems almost old school when there are already apps that can tell you where the bus is in relation to you, timetable and route information.

Foursquare proved its concept years ago, although I still think they dropped a couple of clangers in their business model and are trying to regain ground, given that all of a sudden I am getting messages saying The Mayor is in the House. Their clients were able to offer loyalty programs and deals based on the proximity of your mobile. Location deals have been around for a long time.

If you really need an app in order to get location based information and it has assisted GPS, then the only locations where I see the real value is inside, where navigation still hasn’t found a cheap solution. Ever been lost in a hospital, a large government building, or tried to find a map in the mall, or follow one.

The retail location based services with beacons can do a lot for you, if you are prepared to use the app. Imagine walking towards McDonald’s, which is 50 yards away from Starbucks, which has a beacon connected to your loyalty card. Your app then sends you a message saying “free muffin with your coffee in the next 5 minutes Mr Smith.”

Tracking luggage has always bee a problem. Airlines still manage to keep the lost luggage auctions viable. Beacons in luggage with destination info could overcome the problems with unusual shaped luggage or obstacles that block the bar code readers on the sorting machines. My main concern there is power output. If I have to put my mobile in flight mode, but there are 300 suitcases on the plane with Wi-Fi-Bluetooth beacons right where the ribbons of fly by wire are draped through the plane, I’m not so sure I want to be on that last flight.

Beacons have their place and I suspect they would help provide a huge amount of information to Google and anyone that wants to buy it from them. But putting them outside where there is good GPS location information on the mobiles needed to access them, doesn’t make a lot of sense when you could place perfectly good virtual beacons simply by placing coordinates on a virtual map. My phone knows which bus stop I’m at, I can approve that the bus company has access to my phone info so that it can give me location and route accurate information, make sure my virtual ticket is ready and confirm anything else I want to know, from tourist information to where my nearest friends or colleagues are on the public transport or at the station.

See on Scoop.itLocation Is Everywhere

About Luigi Cappel

Writer for hire, marketing consultant specialising in Location Based Services. Futurist and Public Speaker Auckland, New Zealand
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