Mesh Beacons are poised to overtake simpler iBeacon technology !
December 09, 2015
An innovation that could reshape the mobile landscape, mesh beacons like uBeacon Mesh are poised to overtake simpler, commonplace iBeacon technology. The question, then, is what this means for both app developers and consumers.
Defining Mesh Beacons
Standard beacons send out data and display content on nearby smart devices based on the users’ detected location, triggered by their proximity. Retailers generally tend to mount them out of sight, on walls or ceilings. When a smartphone is nearby, it receives the beacon’s location data.
Then, an app on the phone can transmit the phone’s location via WiFi or cellular phone data to the app server so that the program can display geo-targeted messaging and information.
Mesh beacons possess the same capabilities as regular iBeacons, but can also accomplish much more. Ubudu co-founder Thomas Saphir shared his conviction with VentureBeat that “mesh beacons enable a world of new consumer experiences which wouldn’t be otherwise possible.”
In a mesh network, a large number of wireless mesh nodes send and receive information with each other, effectively sharing the network connection across a wider area than previously possible. Using Bluetooth technology, mesh beacons can not only send information directly to a smart device, but they can also communicate with each other.
Customers are able to not just receive data, but to respond as well. Therefore, Saphir explained, “cell phones become nodes [along with the mesh beacons], as they are able to receive and send data from the mesh network.”
Why Mesh Beacons Matter
The ability to share data across beacons and in a digital dialogue with the customer could revolutionize how merchants interact with their clientele via mobile apps.
The purchases a customer completes or preferences indicated by shopping in one section of the store – or even in another shop entirely – could be shared between one mesh beacon and another in the same network. This in turn will better inform the second beacon about what content to message the consumer when he or she approaches it.
If a customer purchases an extra small-sized shirt in one section, for example, a retailer might then choose to have its mesh beacons share that data so that, when the customer walks past a beacon in a different clothing department, it will only share offers regarding similarly sized garments.
As a result, special offers, coupons, and other such information could be shared with smartphones in more effective, personalized ways. This could break the market wide open for apps geared towards improving the purchase experience. With the right smartphone campaigns, vendors could put the power and persuasion of a virtual retail clerk into the pocket of every customer who walks into the store.
The only requirement is the presence of Bluetooth 4.0, which the majority of phones already support. Imagine walking into a shop and, thanks to technology like uBeacon Mesh, immediately receiving updates about ongoing sales, limited time offers, and even coupons, all closely catering to your personal preferences.
Excitement on the Horizon
The potential impacts extend even further. The ability of cell phones to interact with the mesh network means that customers might be able to use the technology to ask clarifying questions, request assistance from a store manager, or save items for purchase later.
With the proper app development team, melding the best parts of both the real-world and online purchasing process into an ideal customer experience becomes totally possible.
This is clearly an exciting time for retailers and app developers alike, as this new marketing frontier looms in the near future. Around 250 apps have already been built for mesh beacon technology.
You can get started with Infinite Monkeys right now to begin honing your skills and developing the perfect app to one day capitalize on this unique technology’s impending boom.