Bluetooth beacons (also known as iBeacons) are devices that broadcast signals that can be recognized by nearby devices. Whether they are paired with an app or Physical Web browsers, they can then react accordingly, and let the users know their positions. They are very useful for businesses, which can deliver content to specific consumers and specific locations within seconds. These low energy Bluetooth beacons have become suitable, innovative ways of communicating information among consumer and business entity relationships.
The manner in which these beacons have been transferable, thus far, has been limited to the consumer smartphone screen. Estimote, a new startup from Poland, has begun a beacon-based product called Mirror. Basically a Snapdragon-powered dongle for plugging into a simple USB or HDMI to display video, Mirror uses nearby beacons to easily communicate with nearby apps controlled via Estimote’s SDK. Mirror, smart enough to recognize an individual passing by its screen as an active app user, may notice their screen becomes adjusted to their liking. It’s basically the ability for consumers to experience a hands-free, app-free, synergistic interaction in retail environments. I know the sci-fi film “Minority Report” always comes up when discussing some of the latest technology, but remember when Tom Cruise walks into that store and a display screen immediately greets him by name and provides him a special offer? Yeah, that’s exactly what we’re talking about here.
Despite the lack of wanting a screen to say your name when you walk into an H&M, because you’re a private person and that just wouldn’t make you comfortable, but embarrassed rather, the Mirror wouldn’t do this to you. I think the idea of Mirror is more about its amazing potential, not whether or not it’s going to impress you once you see it in stores for the first time. Despite what could be quite mundane about shopping or being in airports, such as the wait and crowds, there’s actually a lot to look at, and plenty to keep you occupied. However, the Mirror could help an individual by providing help at airport departure gates, or could show you size or color options at a busy shoe or apparel shop. As a big shopper myself, I could definitely see myself staring at one of these displays, scrolling through the options for what color and size I might want to go try on. Too bad, it can’t do the trying on for you. Wait, I bet there’s other technology out there just for that, too. But let’s not get too hasty here.
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