Beaconing is one indicator of what a piece of the future of mobile commerce might look like.
Rather than information being pushed to a consumer at some random time or location, beacons are starting to be used to pre-identify what information or service a shopper may need and provide that information at the most relevant moment.
Yesterday, I caught up with Dave McMullen, co-founder of Nashville ad agency Redpepper, who sees beacons as facilitating a type of digital concierge service.
Redpepper recently created a spinoff just to deal with beaconing. It has its own app (Taonii), at least for beacon demonstration purposes, but primarily sells its technology for retailers to use anonymously inside their own apps.
The idea is that the app taps into the merchant’s other customer tracking and sales systems so that behavioral data is included in the beaconed activity.
“It’s great if it’s perfect timing,” said McMullen. And that is the great potential of beaconing: timing the perfect messaging to a person in the most relevant context.
In the case of Taonii, the technology behind the scenes pre-determines what information is sent to a shopper. When downloading the app, the consumer also creates a profile of personal interests by giving a thumbs up or down to a series of one-word items.
From a larger perspective, that is what the Internet of Everything (IoE) is all about: making meaningful connections, not just from machine to machine (M2M), but from technologies to people.
In the future, the consumer will have to add less information manually for desired results, since networked sensors of all types will continually tap into the cloud, where usage of big data will be leveraged in a big way.
Beaconing is just the tip of a very big iceberg.