Proximity Marketing News (11/5/2015)
Welcome to your weekly proximity marketing news digest where we bring you some of the most intriguing stories from the emerging world of location-based technologies.
8 ways to Leverage Location Services
For the past several decades, much of the computer revolution has aimed to link every machine to every other machine in one big harmonic convergence called the Internet. That trend is coming to an end — at least in the emerging world of what are being called beacons. Instead of trying to reach everyone in the galaxy, beacon builders want to reach only the right people who are within a few meters of their transmitting devices.
In essence, beacon technology inverts the power of a network, with a more forceful connection to place. In the view of Google, one of the proponents of beacons, it’s creating “proximity experiences” or a “strong context signal.”
New App Serves as Eyes for the Blind
As computers get better at navigating the world around them, they are also helping humans better navigate that world as well. Thanks to advances in AI and robotics, scientists from IBM Research and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) are working on new types of real-world accessibility solutions for the visually impaired.
The goal is as audacious as it is inspiring: coming up with a technological platform that can help the visually impaired navigate the world around them as effortlessly as everyone else. The first pilot in the program is a smartphone app for iOS and Android called NavCog, which helps blind people navigate their surroundings by whispering into their ears through earbuds or by creating subtle vibrations on their smartphones. (Users have the option of either setting the app to “voice mode” or “vibration mode.”)
UK Laws Will Keep Internet History for 12 months
British politicians will dramatically expand the UK’s powers of mass surveillance under a draft bill demanding that ISPs store records of every website visited by internet users for up to a year. This level of online monitoring has been banned in the US, Canada, and every other European nation, and has even previously been rejected in the UK. Supporters of the legislation (known as the Investigatory Powers Bill) are presenting it and other security measures as a compromise, but privacy campaigners say it is in fact more intrusive.
Records of citizens’ internet activity would only include the basic URL of websites they visit (e.g. www.google.com or www.theverge.com) and not any specific pages (e.g. http://www.theverge.com/tag/surveillance). Searches made on sites would not be recorded, but the time of visits, as well as the IP addresses of other computers which the individual contacted, would.
Millennials Responding to Push Notifications
When it comes to customer outreach, millennials are the ones most likely to respond to a push notification sent to a mobile device, according to a report from Retale cited by Mobile Commerce Daily. But they are also looking for brands to send them something specific — millennial consumers are most likely to engage with a push notification when it extends a sale or discount offer.
- Overall, 84% of millennials report having responded to push notifications they’ve received from brands and retailers.
- 61% prefer to receive push notifications about coupons and discount deals that they can redeem immediately.
- And, 61% prefer to receive those about customer loyalty rewards.
- These interactions also come from loyal customers — 89% of millennials engage with push notifications that come from their favorite brands.
WiFi Better than Beacons for In-store Analytics?
Despite the buzz around beacons, WiFi is the better method right now for helping retailers streamline store layouts, enhance loyalty programs and support new mobile services, according to a new report from ABI Research.
WiFi, once the dominant in-store location technology, has seen its role come under attack from newer, less-expensive solutions such as beacons. However, WiFi’s broader reach along with recent advancements that make it more cost efficient and accurate, underscore its ongoing relevance.
“It’s not so much bringing back a focus on WiFi rather waking up to the need for Internet style analytics in-store; and the best way to achieve that today is with Wi-Fi, particularly if you can leverage existing access points,” said Patrick Connolly, principal analyst at ABI Research.
Reuters: Walmart App to Reduce Wait Times for Store Pick-ups
Walmart’s delivery drones unfortunately won’t be ready to drop off packages these holidays. According to Reuters, though, the retailer will at least release a new app that can make picking up online purchases in store a lot faster. The company made the announcement during a media briefing to detail its strategy for November and December, though other outlets such as CBS News are reporting that the company’s merely beefing up its current app.