Blog : Technology

Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) Beacons Are Making Mobile Apps Smarter

Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) Beacons Are Making Mobile Apps Smarter

Advertisements today can be overwhelming to consumers. Especially in the last decade as advertising has come to focus upon online consumerism, customers are constantly bombarded with popups for the latest and greatest products. The negative response to this shift in marketing has led to a need for innovative and unique technologies that avoid overwhelming consumers while still reaching an audience. Indoor location technologies, such as Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) Beacons, is one of these innovative designs.

What are BLE Beacons?

Bluetooth Beacons are wireless devices that draw attention to a specific location, within a finite space. A clear example of a beacon is a lighthouse: its light draws attention from offshore ships, letting the ships know their distance from the lighthouse and the shore. Bluetooth Beacons do the same thing in a virtual environment, allowing brick-and-mortar businesses to send out signals to mobile devices in the immediate area.

Bluetooth Low-Energy Beacons, also known as Bluetooth 4.0, are just as their name suggests. They do the same thing in practice while maintaining low energy consumption.

How do BLE Beacons work?

The wireless device draws attention to its location by periodically putting out a radio signal. This radio signal consists of a small packet of data, usually advertisements. A beacon at a sports store, for example, might periodically send signals for current deals on hiking boots. Compatible mobile devices within close proximity to the beacon (usually about 100 meters) would then receive those advertisements, triggering applications to prompt responses like push messages or actions.

Why use a BLE Beacon?

Bluetooth Beacons, in general, allow businesses to deliver highly contextualized and personalized advertisements to their customers. Unlike other indoor location technologies such as GPS and NFC, Beacons are hyper-localized and specified for indoor environments. This means that the customer isn’t going to get advertisements for every store in the mall, but they also don’t need to be standing directly next to a product to receive an advertisement.

BLE Beacons also cost 60-80% cheaper than classic Bluetooth Beacons (although classic Bluetooth is recommended for more complex applications). Their low-energy consumption allows them to last much longer than the classic Bluetooth Beacon. The BLE Beacon stays in sleep mode unless it is actively configuring a connection, so it can last up to 3 years on one coin-cell sized battery.

Who benefits from using BLE Beacons?

Both Classic Bluetooth and BLE Beacons can be beneficial to a company. Classic Bluetooth can handle larger amounts of data, but BLE Beacons are ideal for transmitting advertisements to applications that periodically use small amounts of data. This, in addition to their low-energy consumption and cheaper cost, means that small businesses may benefit from using a BLE model over classic Bluetooth location technology.

The value of in-store retail sales influenced by beacon technology increased by $40 million between 2015 and 2016. The benefit of being able to personalize advertisements to customers continues to appeal to businesses, and it’s expected that 4.5 million beacons will be active by 2018.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Cyber security is critical to your business. No matter your endeavor, the safety of your data is central to your success and security. At the heart of every business are passwords, financial transactions, employee data, and a host of other digital concerns. The protection you extend to this data is critical to your success.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, organized by a joint effort between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance. This alliance between private industry and the U.S. Government is celebrating its 13th year helping you protect your data.

Take a few moments to explore the issue of cyber security. StaySafeOnline.org coordinates many efforts to protect the digital concerns of individuals, small businesses, and large corporations. Simply put – if you have a computer, you are at risk. Anyone anywhere can be hacked. This group has created an extended list of free tools and resources for everyone to help define their individual risk assessment. Here is a technology checklist for your business’s cyber concerns. Examine your company’s digital resources, to become #CyberAware of your network’s security status.

The National Cyber Security Alliance has listed an extended series of events taking place around the globe during the month of October to discuss various aspects of cyber-security. Some of these events are virtual; others are physical. Take a look at this list to see if there are any events in your area that you may be able to attend.

We often use this space to discuss advertising or tech developments. This week, we felt we’d explore an issue that helps to define our security, our independence, and our freedom in the marketplace. If you cannot specifically define the security status of your system, you may not be aware of the actual nature of your exposure.

 

Top Tech Conferences in New York City during 2016

Top Tech Conferences in New York City during 2016

As the forum for culture and innovation, New York City is the destination for all technology enthusiasts and professionals alike. Every year this bustling city hosts some of the country’s best tech and digital conferences. 2016 is definitely not an exception. If your interests span content marketing to all things digital, we have narrowed the endless list of conferences down to five diverse and spectacular tech shows you surely do not want to miss.

Five outstanding tech conferences in NYC for 2016:

Digimarcon: East – May 12-13

Held at the Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan, Digimarcon is the conference for digital marketers. With discussion topics spanning Content Strategy, Mobile Marketing, Targeting & Optimization, and so much more, Digimarcon is the tech show for attendees who want to develop better digital and overall business strategies.

Advertising Week – September 26-30

Spanning four days with over 95,000 attendees, Advertising Week is designed for Marketing and Advertising professionals with seminars and workshops drawing from all media industries – including technology, start-up, and agency communities. The gathering is an immersive experience in venues covering four city blocks, including The Times Center, NASDAQ, and Thomson Reuters. Featured speakers range from Warby Parker CEO, Neil Blumenthal, to Hip Hop artist Big Sean.

Ad:Tech New York – November 2-3

Headlined as the “event for modern marketing and media”, Ad:Tech is aimed towards a wide range of attendees. Located at The Javits Center, the conference gathers talent from the marketing, technology, and media communities. It brings them together to provide opportunities to share ideas and build strong relationships in the industry.

New York Business Expo and Conference – November 10

As the LARGEST business conference on the Northeast, the New York Business Expo and Conference is the perfect show for small to mid-size businesses looking to expand their networks. Sessions include essential topics such as Sales & Marketing, Social Media, Entrepreneurship, and more. The conference is located at The Javits Center in Manhattan.

Fast Company Innovation Festival – November 9-13

If you are looking for more than just tech talk and want an overall incredible gathering, Fast Company Innovation Festival is where you want to be. Over the span of three days all over New York City, the festival showcases the best innovations in business, design, entertainment, and technology. Innovation Festival was designed with creativity as its focus and features speakers in fields such as Music, Media, and of course, Technology.

Located right in New York City, these events are excellent opportunities to build a bigger network for your business and open many doors. There are always opportunities out there – you just have to go grab them! When you make it to the Big Apple, be sure to explore our home town, one of the greatest cities on earth! Happy 2016 everyone!

The age of the Smart Home is now

The age of the Smart Home is now

The vision to interconnect your washing machine, refrigerator and even your windows by an internet connection, may soon be built into your next home. True control the of your home’s operation from your smartphone is rapidly approaching.

The redefinition of objects changes not only the form but the function of an object. It tandem, the modifications change the home from a static object into an interactive reflection of your life. In one example, the deadbolt for your front door has been computerized. The metal key is often gone and access has become a relative commodity. Owners can now control who has access, where and for how long right through a mobile app.

Over the past decades, what was seen as fanciable dreams is now being engineered into reality. The ideas of books and TV shows like “Star Trek” continue to find a growing place in our lives.

The bringing together of multiple devices in your home, working in tandem, is soon to be a reality. It requires an openness of spirit and vision in the manufacturing sector. “Without this kind of openness,” Samsung CEO BK Yoon stated in a recent keynote presentation, “there won’t be an ‘Internet of Things’ because the things will not fit together.”

What is the ‘Internet of Things’? It is a realm, in the near future, where multiple household items hold as valid a place on the Internet as do your smartphone and computer. In a few short years, it is widely proposed that many of the items in our homes, those we now see as independent and isolated, will all be interconnected.

When it comes to our homes, many believe the issue is a matter of redefining our vision of the world around us. To meet this challenge, Apple has embarked upon Homekit. This framework is designed to provide developers the tools “…for communicating with and controlling connected accessories in a user’s home.”

The market has been defined by our dreams, needs and technologies. As time quickly passes, we will see the marriage of what we once thought of as static and isolated. The idea of how and what we define as ‘home’ will quickly shift, as developers continue to provide us more control over our living spaces.

THREE NYC TECH CONFERENCES TO ATTEND IN 2015

THREE NYC TECH CONFERENCES TO ATTEND IN 2015

New York City hosts some of the most incredible high-tech trade shows each year. 2015 is no different! If communications and media are your trade, we have the inside track. Here are a few trade shows in New York City custom-fit for advertising and multimedia professionals:

Three outstanding tech shows in NYC for 2015:
  • New York Business Expo and Conference – October 27. This exposition creates a platform for business owners and industry insiders to come together and network. It will be taking place at the Javits Center. The conference is intended to be a place where ideas are shared, connections are made and relationships are built. All organizations, from Fortune 500 companies to startups should attend, in order to experience the networking opportunities and business education from accomplished professionals.
  • Ad:tech New York – November 4-5. This is an integrated conference that unites the marketing, technology and media communities. They explore opportunities and address key problems in the related industries. This convention will be held on at the Javits Center. It provides industry professionals with a sneak peek at both new technologies and new directions that industries are moving toward. Ad:tech provides a place to connect, learn and integrate different industries with prominent technologies.
  • Content & Communication World – November 11 and 12. This conference is designed for those interested in media, entertainment and communications technologies. CCW’s 2015 conference will take place at the Javits Convention Center. Topics discussed at CCW include problems and solutions with content management and creation, as well as new and revolutionary technologies in the market. With big-name sponsors like Sony, Cisco and Canon amongst others, it’s no secret that CCW is a great trade show to attend if your interest lies in media, entertainment and communications technology.

Trade shows are excellent places for small businesses, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts to grow professionally. Discover the power of networking and form relationships that will assist in the growth of your company. Seek what interests you – most likely there’s a trade show or conference that caters to your interests. Stimulate your mind and your resume. Come to the Big Apple and take a bite of out of the latest tech shows on earth!