As I know beacons are a hot topic in the industry, I wanted to tell you more about our rapid progress we are making regarding the integration of beacons with IntuiFace.
First, we have decided to make sure to be compatible with the two big guys on the market: Apple’s iBeacon and Google’s Eddystone. We are now experimenting with Estimote beacons who can adapt to both standards, but are getting some other brands too to make sure what we do is as universal as possible.
Second, we wanted Windows to have a play in the scenarios that I’m going to describe below. Most often, beacon is associated with mobility which is not necessarily mandatory.
Let’s get to the three scenarios we are working on right now:
The Proximity scenario: An IntuiFace experience runs on display powered by a Player for Windows on a PC with a Bluetooth LE receiver (either a USB dongle or directly embedded in the PC). Two items (say two running shoes, one white, and one red) are exposed on a shelf in front of the display, each one with an iBeacon attached. When a visitor takes the white show from the shelf, the experience receives an IntuiFace trigger informing that the distance between the PC and the iBeacon “white” has passed a threshold. The experience then shows the white show on the display. When the visitor brings the white back on the shelf, that the experience goes back to main content. If the visitor grabs both shoes, then the experience displays a comparison between both. In a nutshell, IntuiFace on Windows “knows” about the ID of the beacon arounds and “knows” when they are moved away/close. It’s the beacon which is mobile, while the receiver is the fixed PC. How cool is that?
The App Notification scenario: More classic, a beacon (whether iBeacon or Eddystone) is stuck behind a painting in a museum. A visitor is approaching the display with an iPad (provided by the museum) running an IntuiFace experience. As the visitor gets closer to the painting, the IntuiFace experience on the iPad is notified (via a trigger) by the beacon that convey the ID of the painting that enables the IntuiFace experience to retrieve the story of that painting (either in the local Excel file or from a remote database if the iPad is connected).
The URL Notification scenario: A little bit more unusual and achievable only with a specific configuration of Eddystone called EdystoneURL. Imagine a real-estate experience running on a touch display on Windows (like this one): a visitor comes around and start browsing the available properties, then select one. At this point the IntuiFace experience sends the (web) URL of that property through the Bluetooth LE stack of the PC configured as an EddystoneURL beacon message. The visitor is then notified on her iPhone or Android smartphone about this URL coming in, leading directly to the visualization of that property on the Chrome browser installed on her phone (yes, you need to have Chrome installed and have enabled the “Physical web” option of Chrome). No specific app from that real-estate company required! This one is really nice.
That’s it for now Please send your questions on the Community and I’ll be happy to answer them. One more thing: release planned for late March/Early April! As we get closer to that date, we’ll update you on the progress.