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Estimote and the future of the iBeacon

By RJay Haluko
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A new way to add context to apps

We recently received 3 packs of Estimote beacons in the lab. The beacons are a way of creating contextually based computing experiences. A beacon can be placed in a space and use a low energy bluetooth signal to interact with software based on proximity.

There are a bunch of different beacons coming out, but the Estimote industrial design is quite beautiful. When unboxing them I was impressed by the packaging and thoughtful design and branding. Unfortunately they weren’t ready to work with iOS out of the box which was a disappointment.

The team hasn’t fully begun to play around with them too much, but we are at the beginning stages of playing with them. The idea of making apps more contextual is fascinating and provides brands to reach consumers in a more localized and contextual way. Placing beacons through out a store cloud create a way to guide the UX of an actually space. A beacon could send information on a product you are standing in front of and then provide a waypoint via app to a pair of pants that complements the look.

"Context is King"

I’m particularly interested in looking at how we can create a system that tells these beacons what I want or need, and then tailoring a custom response to that need. It’s nice to have the beacon know where I am, but what if it also knows what I want. In the coming months the LW team will tinker and play to see what we can come up with.