In the few months since Apple released the iPhone 6 and unveiled its new iWatch, the tech world has been largely focused on the hardware. Much has been written about the larger screen size, increased pixel count, and of course, the future of wearables.
What has gotten less coverage, but should be of far greater interest to marketers, is the software that powers these new products, specifically Apples decision to upgrade iBeacon technology in iOS 8.
Apples upgrade lays the ground work for collecting location-based events and engagement attribute data, giving travel marketers far greater insight into the behavior of their customers across channels as well as the ability to act on those insights in real time.
The iBeacon is Apples version of the quickly growing Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) proximity-aware transmitting devices, Beacons. These small and inexpensive transmitters can be used by travel brands to communicate with consumers on their smartphones while theyre physically present at locations such as airports and hotels.
Heres how it works: A hotel will place these transmitters in strategic spots around the property. These transmitters emit a low energy Bluetooth signal, and if a consumers device has a Beacon-enabled app installed, that signal can issue an information push notification — an alert for a special offer, or request and collect data from the app.
While iBeacon technology has been supported since the release of iOS 7, the new updates give the product more legitimacy, and should give travel marketers greater confidence to experiment with new services that can enhance a travelers real-world experience.
Image courtesy of tnooz.com