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Brace Yourselves For Beacons

Fast Company: You won’t truly be happy until a company knows everything about you. Where you live, how much you make, whom you married, what you buy on your phone and what you buy at a store, favorite sports team, everything. Don’t like hearing this? Take a ball-peen hammer to your phone and smash it repeatedly.

Companies are striving to know you. The negative side of knowing: they want to know you in order to sell more product to you by developing very contextual messaging that resonates with you. On the positive side: companies need to know you to better serve you. If you repeatedly walk into any small business owner’s store, they’ll begin to recognize you, get to know your personality, and to understand what makes you happy. You’re satisfied with their service both because their product is quality and because you’ve connected with them personally. So how does this work for large scale companies? With the launch of Apple’s new iOS9, which included expanded features for Apple Pay and Google Wallet, big companies, have more incentive than ever to connect with their customers in a very direct way.

When I enter Bloomingdale’s, it’s protocol for a sales person to learn my name and ask how they can help me. But in the future, technology will help sales staff with this interaction by greasing the skids. Through beacons—Bluetooth enabled low-frequency radio signals—the same sales person will not only know my name, but also the last time I was there, what I purchased, which brands I like, that my wife is a customer, and that I was just looking at their new product line on my phone before I walked through the door. They’ll receive this as a scannable alert, and all of it will be triggered by the simple act of me walking into their store. Read the full article

TechInAisa:  Social media exploded into the scene about a decade ago, completely changing the way we communicate with people. It gave us a way to discover and share anything and everything our hearts desired. Lately there has been an initiative to merge online and offline experiences to create a seamless and truly integrated world.

We are all familiar with the idea of “checking in” or having a business ask us to “like” them through a sign or message. Various apps have already popularized this concept. iBeacons however, can do these and much more.

iBeacon interaction is based on Bluetooth technology instead of the internet. This allows for short ranged interaction without the need for an internet connection. Not only that, iBeacons allow businesses to send locational and contextual greetings or messages to people. These greetings and messages could be linked to pages where people can “like” or “share.” This is much easier than navigating through multiple pages.

iBeacons are not directly competing with internet locational services. Instead, they complement each other. With the ease of access that iBeacons bring (via one tap access), it encourages people to leave reviews, share their experience or give the business the coveted “like” on company websites or review platforms, like Yelp.

Contextual and locational social media sharing is trending right now. iBeacons and social media together may be the next social media revolution. Read the full article

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