Eindhoven, the Netherlands: Whenever a new technology is born, competitors appear right away. At least this is the case with iBeacon and the ‘nearable’ devices already stemmed from the opportunities offered. The first competitor to iBeacon seems to be Philips, the company recently presenting an intelligent lighting system at an innovation showcase held in Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
How does Philips want to compete with iBeacon? The lighting system is created in such a manner that it can transmit information on people’s smartphones, as they walk around shops, museums, or office buildings. The purpose of the new technology is to enhance customers’ shopping experience, by showing exactly where certain areas of interest are, or providing them with the latest offers.
How is this system different from iBeacon? For starters, it uses Internet connectivity through an Ethernet cable. Otherwise, the competition between the two giants will be placed with how useful the apps that have to be installed on consumers’ phones will be, and how the audience will react to being practically tracked and followed around shops and other locations like the ones mentioned above.
Philips seems to be preparing the ground for a big launch of the new system sometimes mid next year, and the company is already running tests with various shops and retailers around the world. For businesses running large stores, this could be a great opportunity, as studies show that in general, customers are more likely to respond to an offer when it is presented in front of their eyes, then when it is transmitted via e-mail, or other, more traditional means of communication.