Beacons already are in use in a multitude of venues, including retail stores, malls, hotels, airports and sports arenas, all of which I’ve chronicled here over the last several months.
But the different uses of beaconing are starting to get interesting as companies large and small find unique ways to tap into them.
Beacons are being sent to thousands of mom and pop shops around the U.S. Those beacons, from the Perka division of First Data, will be used to automatically check-in loyal customers as they enter a store, as I wrote about here last week (Beacons Coming to Small Businesses in a Big Way).
Now mobile payments company LevelUp is sending beacons to merchants so that customers can receive a personal “hello” as they walk in the door.
The beaconed greetings will go to customers in the LevelUp loyalty program, whose members open the app and wave the code in front of the small LevelUp reader at checkout, somewhat similar to the Starbucks mobile checkout process.
As in many of the beaconing programs, the messaging comes from the merchant and each can customize them.
For example, a beaconed message could wish someone a happy birthday on their birthday or recommend items based on their purchase history.
This and the First Data deployments are just one more innovation and expansion to small stores, which don’t always have access to the latest, greatest technology.
The reality is that beaconing innovation is coming from businesses of all shapes and sizes, which is highlighted in the range of beacon topics on the agenda of the MediaPost IoT: Beacons conference being held next Monday in New York. (I’m personally really looking forward to the diversity of beaconing approaches that I know will be discussed, based on conversation I've had with many of the speakers and attendees coming.)
But whether a large or small business and whatever the type, innovative uses of beacons are being created.
Even if just to say hello.