Insights by Jason Smith

iBeacon Emerging Ecosphere: Which Businesses Are Using iBeacon? March 2014 Update

March 02, 2014

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.

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iBeacon vs. Near Field Communication (NFC): The Battle for Proximity Marketing

February 13, 2014

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.

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iBeacon for Hospitals - Using Bluetooth LE Beacons To Provide Wayfinding, Mapping, and Clinical Care

November 27, 2013

In our continuing look at applications for iBeacon, we're honing in on specific industries that have great opportunities to implement the technology for multiple uses.

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iBeacon: How Is It Related to Bluetooth (BLE)? Will iBeacon Work For Payments? (Part 2)

November 27, 2013

What is an iBeacon and Bluetooth LE (BLE)?

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.

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What is the Apple iBeacon? How to Design and Build iBeacon Applications (Part 1)

November 27, 2013


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.

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Responsive Web Design: Which CMS is Best?

August 30, 2013

Recently our team has been asked this question while presenting webinars and conference sessions, so we thought it was time to share our thoughts on the topic here.

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Mobile Websites for Higher Education – 2012-2013 Findings

July 22, 2013

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.

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How to Attract Students to a College Website

October 08, 2012

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.

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Designing Award-Winning University Websites for Student Recruitment

October 02, 2012

On October 10, 2012, I’ll be presenting a webinar for college and university marketing and communications, admissions, and enrollment teams who are planning for a website redesign. The 1-hour session will highlight strategic and tactical best practices for planning and developing a new website that not only reaches but engages prospective students.

Here’s a sneak peek at some of the topics and findings that I’ll cover.

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User Experience Design: Creating Forms that Convert

May 25, 2012

We've recently been working on a number of user experience design engagements focused on lead capture and registration forms. As we've been sitting down with users to review live sites and prototypes, we've seen our consistent recommendations for improving conversion reinforced.

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