Putting iBeacons to work at Netcel

Posted by Peter Aitken
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iBeacons are small wireless sensors that can be attached to any location or object. The sensors broadcast tiny radio signals that a smartphone can receive and interpret, unlocking micro-location, and contextual awareness.

There’s a growing interest in iBeacon technology among companies and organisations looking for innovative ways to reach and engage their customers and audiences. Their interest has been piqued by the promise of successful proximity-based targeting. The benefits of this targeting can include: personalised user-experience, increased sales, reduced costs, and the ability to react to change in real-time.

With Tesco, Unilever and the Wimbledon tennis tournament commissioning experiments, trials are becoming more common. For example, when people arrived at this year’s Wimbledon, they were sent messages through the app with directions and advice on where to queue.

Apps for conferences, retail and tourism

iBeacon technology was at the centre of our most recent Netcel Hack Day. The prototype apps that our teams produced during the day allowed us to explore uses for the technology in three scenarios, broadly; conferences, retail and tourism.

iBeacon at conferences

The Netcel team that developed and presented the conference app, explored how iBeacon technology could improve user-experience, and reduce costs, at busy events.

The app shows attendees a map of the conference, the itinerary, and seminars that they could attend – dependent on interests and location.

It replaces numerous printed programmes, and can be re-used across multiple events.

iBeacon for retail

The idea for the retail app, was inspired by our charity tuckshop - a soft drinks fridge and confectionary cupboard where all proceeds go to charity.

Using iBeacons, the team created an app in which sales can be logged and return visits can be incentivised. For example, as iBeacons can measure temperature then when the weather is warm it can send everyone in the office a message, saying: "Fancy an ice cream?"

This type of app can be adapted for use in any shop or supermarket. It can also send out personalised recommendations to try new products that are nearby.

iBeacon for tourism

The iBeacon app that was developed and presented by the third Netcel team takes the concept of the museum guide and applies it to towns, cities and tourist hot-spots.

Historic St Albans, where Netcel is based, was the chosen location. The app leads the visitor on a tour, points out the landmarks and provides rich content.

It can also relay added content such as discount vouchers and incentives, or relevant traffic information and local news.

A powerful technology

For all of us at Netcel, the Hack Day has underlined just how powerful iBeacons can be.

Many of our clients are looking to add a new spin to their training events and in-store campaigns, and delivering content via iBeacons is a great way to do this. It’s a technology that allows Netcel, and our customers, to harness the potential of proximity-based targeting.

To find out more, please contact us at hello@netcel.com.