iBeacon technology may have started as a fad for geekish entrepreneurs, but more and more businesses start seeing the potential for growth the novelty has to offer. In simple terms, this technology is based on making the connection between transmitters called beacons, operating on BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), and smartphones, via equally smart applications.
In the US, Shopkick has spread over 7,500 such beacons in retail shops across the country, while in Europe, Bookatable is taking an experiment carried on during the London Restaurant Festival to the next level. The online platform aims at connecting smartphone users with the eateries encountered in their path, through the transmission of special offers, features and other extras that may attract consumers to restaurants.
Many restaurants have already joined, important names like Ping Pong, Spaghetti House OXO Tower, D&D, STK London and Villandry being mentioned. The beacons installed by Bookatable in these restaurants are close to invisible since they are not larger than a 50p coin. Their presence will be made known, however, on consumers’ phones, when they will pass by these venues, provided that they have the app installed.
The next step businesses are waiting for from this technology is the integration of payment options, to make things even easier for consumers, and the offers even more attractive. Word has it that Apple Pay will play an important role during this stage, and big players like Visa and MasterCard are already in the cards with Shopkick, who is said to have generated 1 billion dollars in transactions, through its new service.