WHAT ARE IBEACONS AND HOW CAN WE USE THEM IN CAMPAIGNS?
In Roman Britain communication under the cover of darkness was carried out with fire. Forts would place bonfires on top of the highest hilltops. Fire meant “we’re under attack!”, no fire “everything is ok”. Neighbouring forts would pick up these signals and be able to work out the status of the chaps down the road. However if distances became too far the light would become dim and communication impossible. Well this is just like iBeacons a new Bluetooth tech that we can use in campaigns today. Thankfully at present there’s no blood, gladiators or fire involved.
iBeacons is a new API in IO7 that allows any iOS device with a Bluetooth 4.0 chip in it to know where it is in relation to other BLE devices, includes other iPhone and Bluetooth Beacons. iBeacons allows devices to chat to each other, relating their location in real time without the need for Wi-Fi or GPS.
Brands such as Cadbury, Red Bull and Honda have used Bluetooth technology in the past for campaigns. However this type of tech is constantly changing and things have moved on since then. So how can you integrate iBeacons technology into your campaign or project?
MICRO GEO-LOCATION INFORMATION
In the clip below iBeacons were put on specific locations next to artworks in a gallery. When the user stands next to the artwork they could see and hear information related to the artwork. This is a much better solution than wearing unhygienic multi share headphones in my opinion. Perhaps the cliche museum goer clad in headphones will be shortly be a thing of the past.
In this promo video customers visiting a location to get special deals based on their geo proximity to the iBeacon.
Here the customers walks into a bar and the iPhone senses the iBeacon. The end result is that a beer is poured at a discount rate!
Here we see a system where multiple beacons have been set up so the users exact location can be found. Perhaps this technology could be used for tracking where customers have to stand in a specific spot to receive a discount.
iBeacons could be placed near an outdoor ads so that the treat only activates when a user is close, sending information to the users phone.
Houses and cars could be unlocked using our iPhone. The rattle of keys no longer.
Settings could be sent to devices wirelessly and effortlessly so you’re ‘logged’ into you TV in a matter of minutes.
Overall there seem to be many potential creative uses for iBeacons. Combine this technology with existing tech and one can but only imagine the results.