Numerous retailers, shopping malls, museums, airports, hospitals and sports complexes are experimenting with or deploying beacons for a variety of purposes depending on the context. Beacons are growing in popularity because they can offer an enhanced or more personalized user experience. They’re also inexpensive, simple to deploy and are supported by most mobile operating systems.
So what are Beacons?
Beacons consist of a chip and other electronic components (e.g., antenna) on a small circuit board. A beacon is essentially a radio transmitter that sends out a one-way signal to devices equipped to receive it. There are numerous beacon makers around the world. Beacons come in various sizes but are generally small and inexpensive. Prices vary but they can be purchased for less than $30 per beacon.
What do Beacons work with?
Beacon signals are transmitted in a limited “region” or “zone,” within 100 or so feet typically. But without a relevant app (airline, sports team, retailer) to listen for and translate the beacon’s signal, its message will not reach an end user. Mobile devices must also have Bluetooth turned on to receive the signal. Roughly 30% to 50% of US smartphones have Bluetooth on by default according to various industry sources. The beacon and its “messages” or content will be invisible unless these conditions are met. With a corresponding app installed, beacons can help deliver an improved indoor experience. Our beacon coverage will be focused on marketing and assist our advertisers once the guest enter the hotel.