This month I’m seeing lots more companies come onto the “CMS and platform” side of the ecosphere. There are a number of companies that were working in the proximity marketing or wallet space that are expanding their platforms to deliver an experience through iBeacons. We have identified 22 hardware and platform solutions for Beacons.
It’s been a slower month for announcements or rollouts of iBeacons save for the launch of the MLB apps last weekend and the use of iBeacons at SXSW.
Opening Day is coming over the next two weeks and so far there have been no additional press releases from MLB or individual clubs. Will the remaining 18 stadiums be ready for Opening Day? In addition, the ‘At the Ballpark’ app has not yet been updated as outlined in the press release. The last update to the app was on September 15, 2013.
If you’re just getting up to speed on the story, here’s what you need to know:
I've updated "The Emerging iBeacon Ecosphere" infographic we released in February. Based on the feedback I heard, I've removed the distinction between hardware and platforms as many of the companies making CMS platforms are also creating their own beacon hardware. There are certainly companies just developing hardware, but it seemed too firm to divide these groups. It's more accurate to view it as a spectrum from pure hardware to software.
iBeacon has been getting lots of attention this past week with a surge in articles and an analyst report calling out the potential for improving proximity marketing on mobile devices. Last year’s iBeacon announcement, along with the release of the iPhone 5S with a fingerprint sensor to facilitate e-commerce, has opened up the debate as to whether the more elegant iBeacon “touchless” payment will destroy NFC for mobile payment.
According to Google Trends, iBeacon has a long way to go to catch NFC. Clearly iBeacon is a very interesting, but still emerging technology.
iBeacon are small, low power computers comprised of a CPU, battery, flash memory and Bluetooth LE. They have long battery life – most Beacons available have an advertised battery life of 12-24 months – making it easy to install them anywhere (no plugs needed) and easy to maintain. The broadcast range can be set between a few inches and 50+ meters. An iBeacon is too small to hold data itself – so it reaches out to the cloud or other servers to pull content down to push out to the device.
iBeacon is Apple’s location-tracking service that was introduced at the 2013 Developer conference. With functionality built into iOS7, iBeacon uses Bluetooth Low Energy (LE or BLE) to allow the pinpointing of devices within an environment – a store, hospital, hotel, amusement park. Think of iBeacon as extremely accurate GPS for indoor environments.
We’ve been undertaking some annual reviews of our higher education clients’ websites to develop on-going mobile strategies. We want to understand the trends and how to best engage their audience: prospective students.
As OHO works with colleges and university marketing, communications and recruitment offices on developing effective Internet strategies, this is one of the key questions we are asked.
Our conclusion and advice to our clients – developed from over 5 years of student surveys and focus groups – that the answer to this question varies based on the type of degree: undergraduate, graduate or professional degree.