One of the issues along the trajectory of beacons has been for consumers to have Bluetooth on their phones turned on.
There are other obstacles, of course, such as needing a designated app for whatever beaconed environment a consumer is in as well as having that consumer agree to receive messaging or offers triggered by beacons as they approach or pass by.
While those latter issues may be somewhat challenging, the consumer comfort level with Bluetooth may get a serious boost by a bevy of Bluetooth-enabled products coming to market and shown before and during CES in Las Vegas this week.
At an exhibition dubbed the Bluetooth Media and Demo Event at CES 2015, a Bluetooth organization took over an entire restaurant at The Mirage for startup companies to showcase their Bluetooth-enabled products.
While many people know Bluetooth as the technology that allows them to wirelessly connect an earpiece for a phone call, send a playlist from a phone to a remote speaker or link a phone to their car audio system to make hands-free phone calls, innovators at CES introduced numerous other reasons to use Bluetooth.
Some of the technology comes under the general heading of smart homes, along with various other aspects of in-home, networking technologies.
At the demo event, one company had a small light socket that when added to a lightbulb allows smartphone controlled lighting via smartphone. There were several other such companies at CES both this and last year.
There were several products that fall into the category of vertical markets.
One set of Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids I saw allows smartphone-controlled settings for different environments with a save feature that uses smartphone GPS tracking to recall the locations and suggests reverting to settings used last when returning to that same area.
A Bluetooth-enabled flower pot monitors the soil and suggests when watering is required. A different Bluetooth device sticks into the dirt of a plant and does the watering automatically as needed.
One device called iSwimband, promoted as a “personal aquatic safety device,” is for children so that parents are notified via Bluetooth when their child enters water or hits pre-set water behaviors.
There were countless other Bluetooth-enabled devices of all shapes and types at CES.
One of the hurdles for retailers using beacons has been getting customers to have their Bluetooth in the on position when they walk in or near the store.
Thanks to many companies launched at CES this week, that issue may be resolved without the retailers having to do anything.