Some time ago, Peter Williams, Product Director and Co-founder at Localz wrote a great piece on The top 5 reasons why iBeacon projects fail. A lot of things happened in the short time since the post was published, Google launched their own Eddystone beacon format, and the cancellation Google HERE service inside Google Maps was leaked. These stories are just the icing of the cake for the retail and event technology industry space that is clearly booming.
In this post, we will take a look at the current situation in the beacon technology space. With the concept of the physical web, we can go further in analysis and explore the newest technology trends. How does the advent of the physical web change the situation in the Retail, Event technology and the entire IoT landscape?
1. There’s no real benefit
The physical web will make trying to make people install our app for no apparent reason to them a thing of the past: the offered functionality and the benefit to the visitors or customers will be perfectly clear from the start. The interaction inside the physical web site will be a breeze!
2. It’s an isolated experience
The use of the web has become commonplace in almost all sectors of life. The expansion of the web to physical spaces will make using our prior knowledge of our visitor or customer a much easier and way less expensive task! Integrating a payment gateway, an omnichannel commerce engine or your social media is trivial and will enhance functionality to never before seen levels.
3. Reliance on a single technology
As time goes on, both iOS and Android make strides in their platforms that continually increase the penetration of BlueTooth. As more and more BlueTooth 4 devices are out there, the power management worries are going to fade away quickly. Both platform vendors are strongly pushing BlueTooth to be turned on. For example, iOS is warning users in their settings menu. And Android is allowing for the BlueTooth radio to be turned on by an app if required.
4. Lack of integration to what already exists
This part is most likely the biggest advance the physical web is making in relation to apps: the World-Wide-Web had a phenomenal 25 years since it’s inception. This run of success can be attributed to the strength and flexibility of the web to be an application platform. And the same thing will happen on mobile. To quote from the World Wide Web Consortium’s latest document on Standards for Web Applications on Mobile:
“Web technologies have become powerful enough that they are used to build full-featured applications; this has been true for many years in the desktop and laptop computer realm, but is increasingly so on mobile devices as well.”
5. Security & privacy non-compliance
Creating proximity-based interaction will no longer be a threat to security. Using standard web technologies will provide the same level of security we have enjoyed on the web for years. The same principals and legal background can be applied to your physical web content as your current content on the web. The use of standard web technologies has raised the bar in IT security. The use of apps will no longer create a hole in the privacy and security compliance domain of your IT strategy.
As these examples show, the Physical web and Google’s Eddystone beacon format will solve almost all of the challenges facing the Retail and Event marketing segments allowing for mass acceptance of proximity-based information and interaction on a large scale.
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