Bluetooth Smart, the low-energy consuming, intelligent sensor technology developed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), is the magic behind several payment and marketing trials being adopted by processors and retailers alike. Beacons powered by Bluetooth Smart technology make the promise of a mobile wallet, mobile couponing, and location-based services possible. Consumers should expect their in-store experience to look and feel completely different by the end of 2014.
“In 2014, Parks Associates expects Bluetooth to play a much larger role in the mobile wallet ecosystem,” said Jennifer Kent, senior analyst, Parks Associates. “Not only does Bluetooth Smart have support from major players like PayPal and Apple, but it also enables three crucial mobile wallet functions: payment from mobile phone to point-of-sale terminal, passive transmission of marketing messages, and the ability to detect consumers’ location in-store.”
Retailers and brands alike have been experimenting with push marketing for years, but the technology and support from major phone manufacturers was lacking. Bluetooth Smart brings three essential features to the beacon experience: an intelligent wireless connection that can authenticate and manage interactions; an extremely power-efficient connection that doesn’t drain the user’s phone battery; and ubiquitous support from phone manufacturers and mobile operating systems. Beacons powered by Bluetooth Smart just work with the devices consumers already have, making it a reliable and cost-effective solution for stores and brands.
“Retail is going to be the first market to really pop using beacons, but that’s just the beginning for Bluetooth Smart powered beacons,” said Suke Jawanda, CMO, Bluetooth SIG. “Bluetooth Smart is making scenarios just dreamed about a reality – like driving down a crowded city street and having an available parking spot ping your phone, or your grocery store knowing when you last purchased milk and sending a reminder that you are running low when you’re in the dairy aisle. The foundation of Bluetooth Smart for retail scenarios is going to set the stage for an explosion of beacon technology in the coming years.”
“Bluetooth Smart has made it possible for PayPal to create compelling location-based payment solutions and shopping experiences. With PayPal Beacon, shoppers can do hands-free payments and get relevant in-store offers and notifications,” said Hasty Granbery, lead engineer for PayPal Beacon. “We are excited to work with merchants and developers to reinvent the in-store shopping experience. We are piloting PayPal Beacon in a few stores in the US and Australia with plans to expand to the UK, Canada, France and Germany."
“Estimote Beacons provide real world context to applications for brands big and small,” said Jakub Krzych, CEO and co-founder of Estimote. “By utilizing Bluetooth Smart technology, we have begun deploying a vast sensor network – and more importantly, an open platform for developers to create apps that address the needs and desires of consumers, retailers and others.”
“Gelo Beacons bring unprecedented mobile location accuracy, cutting edge proximity technology and automatically trigger desired actions, all with a two-year battery life – thanks to Bluetooth Smart,” said Al Juarez, vice president sales and business development, Gelo. “Our automatic action triggers allow for brands to personalize and control when they reach out to consumers and the ubiquity of Bluetooth Smart means our solution works with the majority of smart phones in the market today.”
Gelo has permanent installations in several museums, including the Grand Rapids Public Museum, Henry Ford Museum and Hemlock Crossings Nature Education Center.
"shopBeacon uses Bluetooth Smart to remind shopkick users to open and engage with the associated app the minute they walk into the store or a specific department," said Cyriac Roeding, CEO and co-founder of shopkick. "shopkick makes the store an interactive experience, rewarding shoppers for buying items they love and for engaging with their favorite brands."
shopkick is live in 100 American Eagle Outfitters locations across the US and in Macy’s flagship stores in San Francisco and New York City.
"Bluetooth Smart technology is a cornerstone of the Swirl in-store mobile marketing platform, enabling retailers to deliver highly relevant digital content and offers to smartphone users while they shop in specific areas of a store," said Hilmi Ozguc, founder and CEO of Swirl. "The widespread support of Bluetooth Smart from mobile phone manufacturers, along with its configurable broadcast range and low power consumption, will fuel the rapid growth of beacon-triggered marketing experiences in 2014."
Swirl is now live in Timberland, Alex and Ani, and Kenneth Cole stores throughout the US.
About Bluetooth® Wireless Technology
Bluetooth wireless technology is the global wireless standard enabling simple, secure connectivity for an expanding range of devices and serves as the backbone of the connected world. Bluetooth Smart technology, through an updatable platform and low power consumption, creates new application opportunities for the mobile phone, consumer electronics, PC, automotive, health & fitness and smart home industries. With over two billion devices shipping annually, Bluetooth is the wireless technology of choice for developers, product manufacturers, and consumers worldwide. Backed by industry leading companies, the Bluetooth SIG empowers over 20,000 member companies to collaborate, innovate and guide Bluetooth wireless technology.