NetObjex Blog.

How to Use Beacon Zones to Your Advantage

by Raghu B on May 19, 2015

Beacon technology’s ability to detect an end user’s proximity with such great accuracy compared to other technology as affordable has propelled it to become the in-demand location-based service it is today. The technology estimates an end user’s location but also categorizes the location within one of three beacon zones. Beacons can transmit different messages per zone.

Immediate, Near and Far, What’s the Difference?

Beacons feature a proximity system to detect the distance between itself and an end user’s device. The technology qualifies an end user’s location into one of three categories at any given time: Immediate, Near and Far.

Immediate : An end user’s mobile device inside the Immediate beacon zone is within 20 centimeters of the beacon if not touching it. The accuracy of the determined distance is high.

Near : An end user’s device is in the Near zone of a beacon when it is 20 centimeters to 2 meters away. Distance accuracy is relatively spot-on.

Far : End users in the Far zone of a beacon are 2 to 70 meters away. In this zone, the technology has much greater deviation in pinpointing end users’ exact distance from the beacon.

These zones are preset boundaries, restricted to the radio signal’s reach, and therefore are not adjustable. A beacon’s overall range can be adjusted, but this does not affect the zones’ scope. If the range is reduced to, for example 25 meters, the three zones remain accessible. However, if the range is reduced to about 2 meters, only the Immediate and Near zones are available.

How to Put Beacon Zones to Work for Your Business

Each of the aforementioned zones can offer unique opportunities for notifying end users of valuable information. Depending on your choice of beacon platform, you may or may not be able to assign different messaging per beacon zone. With the NetObjex admin panel you can designate unique notifications for an individual beacon per each zone with ease.

Beacon Zones in Retail

Many opportunities to take advantage of beacon zones exist for retailers. Storeowners can implement campaigns that exploit each beacon zone, with messaging that carries customers through store awareness to promotion notification and finally to purchase.

The Immediate zone is ideal for secure payments as users must bring their mobile device close to a beacon and approve a purchase through the device. Retailers can use the immediate zone to encourage customers to approach a display and touch their phone to the beacon for special promotional content, such as an exclusive video of a product or celebrity endorsement. The Near zone can be utilized to enable customer check-in. Retailers can employ this zone to urge customers right outside the store to enter. A retailer might offer a special discount available that day or prompt customers to check out a new product. The Near zone can also be used to incentivize activities throughout a store. For example, American Eagle Outfitters recently launched a beacon-enabled promotion encouraging customers to try on an article of clothing in the fitting room for a reward. Store representatives stated that the promotion has been a success. Customers who received the promotion were more than twice as likely to try something on. Retailers can use the Far zone to welcome customers to the shopping center and invite them to visit the store. This zone allows for much more general communication across a broad area. A retailer can share simple brand messages and compel customers who have already walked by the store to return soon, offering encouragement in the form of a coupon redeemable the following day for a week, for example.

Beacon Zones in Industrial Facilities

Facility managers can utilize the three beacon zones to maximize staff efficiency and share important information throughout a warehouse, factory, etc. For example, the Immediate beacon zone can be used for check-out of items or machinery, such that an employee must tap their mobile device to the appropriate beacon in order to check out the object. The Near zone can be employed to transmit important information on particular pieces of equipment, such as a link to an instruction manual, trouble-shooting guide or maintenance log. Use the Far zone to transmit important, general facility updates and information.

Beacon Zones in Airports

Airports offer a lot of potential for the exploitation of beacon zones. Miami International Airport has implemented beacons throughout its facility to provide a better experience from baggage check, to waiting at the terminal, all the way to baggage claim.

Airports can help ease the typical points of travel anxiety by communicating delays or gate changes as a notification sent instantly to passengers’ phones via the Far zone. Restaurant promotions can be delivered to passengers via the Far or Near beacon zones. The Near or Far beacon zones can be used to deliver notifications of restaurant promotions or of airport amenities an attractions that passengers may not be aware of. Airlines may even use the Immediate zone to verify passenger boarding passes. A passenger will launch their boarding pass via the beacon-enabled app on their phone and show the screen to the attendant, hovering the device directly above a beacon, which cross-verifies the pass through the app. With the right mobile app in your beacon arsenal, the possible applications are limitless. The NetObjex Smart Browser mobile app is free and takes the place of expensive, proprietary end user apps.

Beacon zones offer many opportunities across a wide variety of industries. The NetObjex beacon ecosystem provides an affordable suite of technology that gets you setup fast. Deploy as many NetObjex beacons as you like using the intuitive NetObjex Point & Click Admin panel. The admin panel makes it easy for your company to associate distinct content per beacon for each zone. End users can access the content of any nearby beacon with the flexible, free Smart Browser mobile application for Android and iOS.

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