Beacons Explained: The Powerful New Technology That Is Transforming How Retailers Communicate With Customers

Beacons are a low-cost piece of hardware — small enough to attach to a wall or countertop — that use battery-friendly, low-energy Bluetooth connections to transmit messages or prompts directly to a smartphone or tablet.

They are ideal for pinpointing the location of smartphones indoors, where GPS and Wi-Fi aren’t always effective, and sending alerts and data to apps on those devices.

Apple has its own beacon system, known as iBeacon, which is part of its current mobile operating system, iOS 7. Startups are creating beacon apps for Android too.

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In a recent report from BI Intelligence, we explain what beacons are, how they work, and how startups, retailers, events companies, payments tech players, retailers, home automation apps, and digital couponing specialists are all lining up to test beacons and incorporate them into their business models.

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Here are some of our findings:

The report has charts and data that can be easily downloaded and put to use.

In full, the report:

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