Why use Beacons and what do they do?

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Beacons are VERY COOL techy doodads that do 1 simple thing (that can open ALOT of doors to MANY cool things).

Hmm. Not that clear eh? Let me explain 🙂

estimote beacon

An Estimote bluetooth beacon.

Beacons are small devices that emit a low level signal. In our use, this signal is a ‘Bluetooth’ signal. This signal can then trigger an ‘Event’ to occur.

Let’s go back a step to make sure the concept is clear.

A beacon is placed somewhere. It emits a signal. This signal is heard by a device capable of receiving the signal. For example, a mobile phone. And when this signal is received, for example by a mobile phone, software on the phone can react, triggering… an event. So they can trigger on ‘entering’ a proximity OR ‘exiting’ a proximity.

OK, so whats an event?

In our case, this all means that when a user with the Associate app, who has not deliberately de-activated bluetooth, comes within close proximity of a bluetooth beacon in their Associate Enterprise account, a notification comes up on their phone. This notification is like a call out to the phone owner, alerting to an offer, invitation, notification, or whatever they would like. Its their own shout out!

This notification can then open a specific Associate card (with videos, downloads, buy now buttons etc), or ANY web based content they so choose! Just because they have entered the proximity of the beacon.

Can the Beacon owner set or change the message or offer?

Yes. From any internet enabled device. It takes only seconds to change the message, add more beacons, or remove beacons.

Do I need additional software, or hardware, to operate beacons?

No. We provide a free beacon with every Associate Enterprise account. The Enterprise account allows you to control the beacon, view statistics and more. The beacon software allows you to control such settings as the beacon location and proximity.

What is the range of the Beacons?

It depends on inside or outside use, humidity, how crowded the area, and how long you’d like the battery to last. On full power, range can be up to 70 metres in good conditions. For most people 20 metres or even less is more than enough, giving between 1 and 2 years of battery life.

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