Bluetooth Low Energy – revolutionary mobile technology for events
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is a new incarnation of the technology that is more affordable because it uses less power. Now small low-energy Bluetooth beacons can be placed around an event and can communicate with Smartphones up to 50 metres away. The technology also enables phones to communicate with each other and allows exhibitors and event organisers to send out digital content to visitors.
Apple has made BLE available in its devices since the launch of the iPhone 4S under the name iBeacon – and now that Apple has embraced the technology; it’s starting to take off. The HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4 (version 4.3*), BlackBerry Q10 and Z10 and Nokia Lumia (on Windows 8.1) all support BLE.
So what does this all mean for events? It’s not about using this revolutionary technology simply because it’s available. It’s more about looking at areas for improvement and figuring out how you can use the technology creatively to streamline processes, add value to exhibitors, and enrich the visitor experience.
Here are a few examples of how we’re using BLE:
BLE can be used to help visitors navigate around an event space which is especially useful for large exhibitions taking place in Excel or Olympia for example. With indoor mapping and route finding capabilities, event organisers can now add additional value to visitors, understand footfall and also enhance demographic intelligence that can be provided to exhibitors.
As visitors navigate around the event and come into range of BLE beacons they can receive personalised push notifications from exhibitors and event organisers. These messages could be a welcome message, product information or even a promotional code that helps persuade visitors to engage there and then.
BLE can be used as an efficient and accurate event entry management system and to track visitor movements so that event organisers understand precisely where visitors are going and what they are interested in.
The great thing about BLE is that it operates in a completely wireless environment and therefore no physical badge scanning is required. Imagine how easy and well-organised an event could be by simply allowing your visitors to move freely from room to room or within various zones without being stopped to have their badge scanned. All the data is instantaneously recorded and stored in a cloud-based platform and can be analysed in real-time.
It’s about BLE time
BLE is here and waiting to be integrated into events. It’s such an exciting time to be in the events world with revolutionary technology at our disposal. So if you want to be at the forefront then now is the time to engage with zappit and embrace BLE and all the opportunities it will create to streamline processes, add value to exhibitors, and enrich the visitor experience.
*At the time of writing this blog Android 4.3 was released, which means a large percentage of smartphones running Android are now BLE enabled.