New Generation of Mobile IoT Is Changing Consumer Experiences

Startups with solutions that employ Bluetooth Low Energy, Eddystone and traditional Bluetooth will help consumers find their personal property, view product content without an app at stores, and share music from a phone with multiple speakers or devices.
By Claire Swedberg

In some cases, however, that information was not granular enough, Smith says. So the team developed TrackR atlas, a system that uses wall outlet plug-in beacons to create a map of a space, such as a home or office, that can be stored in the app. The app then collects data related to the signals being received from that item, and determines its approximate location based on which beacons receive the transmission.

The system can also be integrated with Amazon's Alexa home-automation system, so that individuals can use voice prompting to locate what they seek. For instance, a user could speak a request to the Alexa device, such as "Alexa, ask TrackR to ring my phone," and that request would be forwarded to the TrackR app, which would then prompt his or her phone to ring.

"We developed all the hardware in-house," Smith reports, providing high levels of security and making it easy to use. He says he used his own grandmother to test how easily an average person could install and operate the technology on a typical smartphone.

TrackR has also released a product known as the TrackR pixel, a next-generation version of the bravo that features a longer read range and a ring of LED lights around its edge. According to the company, the LEDs can light up when interrogated, making it easier to locate visually.

The tags have up to one year's worth of battery life, depending on how often they are used. Typically, there would be a need for a single atlas beacon per room within a home.

Beeem Technologies
Beeem Technologies offers a solution that helps retailers or other users connect with consumers in a way that breaks the BLE beacon mold by linking individuals to content without intrusive push notifications or mobile app downloads. Beeem, a company that operates in the United States and Hungary, says it has developed a new alternative to standard app-based BLE systems.

The solution is currently being prepared for piloting by several retailers. It employs Google Eddystone beacons to broadcast a URL from the beacon device to a user's phone. By sending a URL rather than an ID, the system can then provide store customers with access to relevant information for their location—but only if they seek it.

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