5 Industries iBeacon has taken off in

fly_the_aircraftiBeacon is an indoor proximity system that allows your mobile device to understand its position even indoors. iBeacon enables an app to trigger push notifications when in close proximity to an iBeacon. Although retail was one of the very first industries to utilize iBeacon, the airline industry is another area where iBeacon is, along with events, hospitality, banking and mobile all of which can be seen below:

1. Airlines
iBeacons have the capacity to provide multiple solutions to passengers in airports and can provide a boost to their overall journey experience. Using iBeacon airlines can easily provide passengers with indoor directions, walk times to gates, lounge access and inform passengers in real-time of boarding updates. Very often passengers arrive into airports that are of unfamiliar territory and quite often it can be an overwhelming experience. Particularly if you were to arrive into Dallas Forthworth Airport with research revealing that 65% of passengers arrived at the gate early because they are often nervous about whether they are at the right gate. Following on from this research iBeacons were deployed at the Dallas Forthworth Airport where American Airlines app users could automatically receive information and directions to their gate via their iPhone or iPad when they were at the terminal.

2. Events
Mobile event apps using iBeacons have the capability of enhancing features like contact exchange, exhibitor information, maps, line-up information, sponsorship, advertising and promotions, seat upgrades, in-game prizes, scavenger hunts and geo fencing. Networking events such as the Cannes Lions Festival has used iBeacon for networking. The company used iBeacon to allow attendees to network with an “Around Me” feature in the event’s app that display nearby attendees. The feature was integrated with LinkedIn profiles allowing attendees to send messages and connect instantly if they’ve opted in. GenieConnect an event app introduced a new iBeacon-enabled audience response solution for the convention and corporate events industry. The solution utilizes the proximity awareness of iBeacons to ‘push’ session content to attendees and, if desired, locks their handset screen during the session to minimize distractions.

Similarly iBeacons are being embraced at sports events. Here at XtremePush we teamed up with Leinster Rugby and deployed iBeacons during the recent RaboDirect Pro 12 semi-final at the RDS stadium. Mobile-minded supporters received push notifications through the Leinster Rugby App, triggered by specially placed iBeacons, when they entered certain areas of the stadium. The push notifications directed the fans to collect special prizes from Leinster’s Blue Crew within the RDS.

3. Hospitality
iBeacons used in hotels can allow a hotel to enhance and deliver a greater overall customer service experience. iBeacons can look after those hotel formalities that you would rather not have to think about, freeing up time for guests to enjoy themselves. In the case of formalities such as check-in, your reservation number is automatically opened up in passbook and upon entrance of the hotel you are then provided with an electric room key. Beacons can help you to solve the potential maze you will have to solve when you are trying to find your room. The James Hotels based in the United States, released an app called the James Pocket Assistant with iBeacon integration. The app promises to give hotel guests a concierge like experience, providing location-based suggestions for dinner, shopping, and activities.

4. Banking
iBeacon offers exciting opportunities for banks. iBeacon can target customers as they walk past or enter a branch. These opportunities include welcome communications, customer recognition, availability and wait times, personalized product offers, surveying and branch analytics. St. George bank branch in Australia was the first ever deployment of ibeacons in the banking industry. When a customer walks into the bank, the iBeacon senses the person’s entrance and sends a welcome message and personalised information directly to the iPhone or iPad. The bank hopes the service could help to reduce queue times. The bank has said that their investment in iBeacon has the ability to anticipate customer’s needs, understand what matters to them and act on that knowledge to surprise and delight them.

5. Mobile Payments
iBeacon and mobile payments is the latest industry to embrace this technology. Hailo has a new ‘Pay with Hailo’ service that is fully equipped to use iBeacon technology. This feature uses iBeacon which can automatically recognize taxis with the option to connect and pay for a journey automatically as soon as you step foot inside a vehicle. And in the the new year PayPal will be deploying PayPal Beacon to connect to a customer’s PayPal app when they enter a store. With one vibration or sound on your phone, you’ll know you’re checked in and when you’re ready to make a purchase, all you have to do is say you’re paying with PayPal and the transaction is automatically completed: no cash, cards, taps, or signatures required – all hands free.

XtremePush wins R&D Intellectual Property Award with iBeacon solution

homepageIPAwardsOurselves here at XtremePush, a leader in mobile analytics, iBeacon, push notifications and app engagement, entered the Intellectual Property Awards with our iBeacon location proximity solution back in April. We are delighted to have emerged as the winner in the category of indigenous IP R&D. The IP Awards are Ireland’s most highly prized awards in Intellectual Property, recognising and celebrating those involved in IP development.

Our indoor proximity solution works through both Apple’s iBeacon and WIFI wto deliver a higher precise of indoor location mobile engagement. A number of commercial real time location solutions exist but they typically attempt to replicate GPS indoors, requiring the installation of expensive custom hardware solutions. Most of these are aimed at industries that are concerned with “where stuff is” for example logistics and manufacturing. In contrast the proximity solution we provide works with any mobile device and requires no custom hardware or tags. Our solution means an app can now easily, and economically, analyse, target and engage with a higher level of relevancy and accuracy than ever before. Deloitte estimate that in the US by 2016 smartphones are likely to influence between 17% and 21% of retail purchases equating to $628-782 billion in sales.

Outdoors GPS is king. A custom standard for location detection, shipping with every mobile device. However indoors GPS does not work. Our patent pending indoor proximity solution which overcomes this problem works through either iBeacon or WIFI. App developers can easily install a package to their app so the app can be contextually aware of it’s location relevant to a beacon or WIFI router within a range of half a meter to 70 meters. This breakthrough is the result of two years of development through an innovation partnership with Clarity, the Centre for Sensor Web Technologies, Dublin City University, Enterprise Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland an with ourselves here at XtremePush. It has developed from a proof of concept to a commercial technology over the last 24 months by our CTO Dr. Kevin Collins himself.

Our CEO Tommy Kearns has stated “With Apple’s release of iBeacon technology it has bolstered our proximity solution to make it easier and economical for apps to engage in-doors or in a highly localized and contextual relevant manner. Our mobile engagement platform is completely compatible with iBeacon and WIFI technology and we are delighted to be recognized by the IP Awards for our innovation in this area. The opportunity for brands to learn, analyse, engage and retarget their users presents a new vista for consumer insights.”

Our mobile engagement and analytical software solution has over 300 apps signed up through a global customers base in Ireland, UK, USA, Mexico, France, Argentina and Brazil. Brands use our platform to automate push notifications based on app analytics, user segmentation, geo fences for outdoors and now beacons for indoor proximity awareness. And we are very excited about the future of the mobile market.

Apple’s Mobile Payments and Proximity Purchasing using iBeacon

paypal-mobileThe development of smartphones has gone and replaced the necessities and utilities we grew up with; the watch, the alarm clock, the tape recorder, music players, and it seems that very soon, we can add cash and wallets to that list. Mobile payments are garnering more attention throughout the world due to an improved user experience and the new opportunities it can provide for financial institutions, operators and merchants. This attention has been driven by the growing demand from the consumer side for mobile payments. According to Gartner, the number of mobile payment users in the world will reach 384 million by 2015, in 2009 there were 70 million users.

Mobile payments can now be based on proximity using iBeacon 

Proximity payments are going to make in-store shopping a lot more interesting. Proximity payments are a form of contactless payments which is more convenient than swiping credit cards. In a store setting you can use a mobile device to complete a payment by way of short-range communication technologies including Bluetooth, RFID and now iBeacon. Mobile payments fall into three categories; mobile proximity payments or in-store payments, mobile peer-to-peer and mobile commerce. Whilst growth will occur over the next few years for all three, the growth in mobile proximity payments will far outpace the growth of the other two.

Mobile is unleashing convenient commerce and enabling consumers to purchase how and when they want whether on a phone or in a store. By 2017 Mobile proximity payments is expected to reach $40.1 billion, up from $1.1 billion volume expectations in 2013.

Two companies embracing mobile proximity payments include Hailo and PayPal:

Hailo

Up until now Hailo drivers and passengers are matched based on both availability and proximity using GPS-enabled smartphones. The new ‘Pay with Hailo’ service is now fully equipped to use iBeacon technology. This feature uses iBeacon which can automatically recognize taxis with the option to connect and pay for a journey automatically as soon as you step foot inside a vehicle. According to Tom Barr CEO of Hailo “We are taking the friction and the hassle out of taking a taxi and making it easier for people and for drivers“. Ultimately Hailo’s vision is to provide a seamless experience for both drivers and passengers. Currently our-selves here in Ireland have been lucky enough to be the very first country to get our hands on Hailo’s new payment features. The Hailo app proved successful at the Web Summit in Dublin last year, and with attendee figures set to double to 20,000 this year, now is an optimal time for Hailo to embrace this technology.

Hailo-mobile-payment

PayPal

In the new year PayPal will be deploying PayPal Beacon to connect to a customer’s PayPal app when they enter a store. With one vibration or sound on your phone, you will know you’re checked in. And when you’re ready to make a purchase, all you have to do is say you’re paying with PayPal and the transaction is automatically completed: no cash, cards, taps, or signatures required—all hands free. PayPal Beacon will connect consumers to enhanced shopping experiences such as automatically ordering your favorite dish at your usual lunch spot, or getting personalized service at your favorite clothing store. In addition, you can choose to accept messages from stores that you walk into, so that you can take advantage of special offers in the product aisle. You can get notified immediately when your prescription is ready, order your usual lunch at your favorite restaurant, or simply walk to the counter with your purchases and say you’re paying with PayPal, the merchant does the rest and you receive your receipt electronically. With PayPal Beacon it has the potential to change the landscape of mobile payments.

paypal-ibeacon

Push Notifications, iBeacon, and iOS 8

Mobile devices are the remote controls for our lives. As the consumer becomes more sophisticated and tech savvy they are demanding more from their applications. An app with a pulse is not enough anymore. On the other hand an app with a pulse and a good notification strategy gives the user control over what they receive and provides the option to immediately take action. This will become key to meeting mobile users’ extremely high expectations when iOS 8  is released.

With the beta release of iOS 8 Apple are giving us a glimpse at a key enhancement that will reduce friction for bidirectional communication between users and their apps. Some of the new features for push notifications include; Interactive notifications, Widgets and enhanced Location services. Interactive Notifications are something that brands can—and should—quickly adopt.

Interactive notifications lets you respond to push notifications without switching apps. Also an interactive notification could be another way to gather customer feedback. For example you have ordered food from an app like ‘Just eat’, you receive your meal and you receive a notification asking “How would you rate the restaurant?”, whilst another notification which could be sent out would be “Would you dine with this restaurant in the foreseeable future?”

an interactve notification

An Interactive Notification

iOS 8 offers an incredible amount of potential for businesses to improve their app’s stickiness and drive continued engagement, even without having their end-users directly in the app. Here are a few examples: A customer is in Starbucks and they receive a notification saying “Your balance hit $0.00 after your last purchase” the future notification would allow the customer to reload their balance with the same amount they last reloaded their balance with.

With iOS 8 users will have the same level of multi-tasking that Android users already enjoy. Interactive notifications and widgets will enable consumers the ability to take specific actions on a push notification (either as a banner or on the lock-screen). The possibilities are endless for retail. From a purchasing perspective, retailers might offer an interactive notification to users whose wish-list item just came back into stock, giving them the option to add it directly to their cart without leaving the app they’re currently browsing. The more users interact with the initial interactive notification the more precise your profile of the user becomes.

Another utility benefit of the iOS 8  is the ability of the user to take action outside of an app through actionable notifications which let you respond to in the notification tray such as typing a reply or comment on a Facebook photo tag without switching apps.

actionable notification

An Actionable Notification

Another important addition is Widgets in Apple’s Notification Center and lock screen, which, offers users immediate, non-intrusive information. Instead, iOS widgets will share the drop-down hub with app notifications. These miniature iterations of apps will go into the Notification Center for iOS 8 and provide small bites of information provided by the app, the new widgets inside the notifications panel. One example of a widget could be from the eBay App widget, showing items your currently bidding on and the time left until the end of the bid.

Widgets

Even more compelling is the possible integration of interactive notifications with iBeacons. From a customer service standpoint where beacons recognise that you have walked into your favourite store, an interactive notification sent after the customer has walked in store could quickly provide an interactive, yet non-disruptive notification…“Welcome back Annmarie, is there something we can assist you with today”? A quick tap of “yes” could alert the floor manager to send a customer service assistant in Annmarie’s area to help her find what she needs. Maybe Annmarie taps “no” and then enjoys browsing the sales without being bothered. It’s a small touch that can have a great impact on customer experience.

One interesting development with the iOS 8 operating system is in regards to location services. Rumour has is that an app icon to the left hand side of the lock screen would appear whenever a user is in the vicinity of a location that has a corresponding app in the App Store. The device’s current location is used to recommend relevant apps on the lock screen, the user doesn’t even have to have the app installed on their device. For instance you walk up to a nearby Apple Store and an app icon appears on the Lock screen. This new feature will tie in nicely with iBeacon. When a user is within close proximity of a business for example Starbucks an icon from the Starbucks app will appear on the user’s home screen as can be seen below.

StarbucksiOS 8 offers numerous advantages for both businesses and consumers in their update to how push notifications may be improved and how iBeacon will continue to grow in relevancy to the users local interactions with their apps. Businesses have a new platform for engagement that can improve brand awareness and stickiness whilst consumers can easily respond back without having to make a conscious effort to navigate back to one application.