May 19, 2020

Everything You Need to Know About iBeacons

Near field communication
Retail
Apple
iBeacon
Jabong world
3 min
Everything You Need to Know About iBeacons

Beacons could soon become a retailers’ best friend, by helping them collect consumer data and interact with shoppers. The location-based technology can be used to trigger features on customers’ smartphones, including targeted coupons, store maps and hands-free payment options.

How Do Beacons Work?

Beacons are small wireless devices that constantly broadcast radio signals to nearby smartphones and tablets. Mobile apps can pick up these signals, which trigger location-based actions.

What is an iBeacon?

iBeacon is Apple’s version of a beacon and is an off-the-shelf option for retailers. Apple has filed documents with the Federal Communications Commission, suggesting that it wants to manufacture hardware, however at the moment, iBeacon is a system built into the latest version of Apple iOS 7 mobile operating system.

As it stands, iBeacon allows iPads and iPhones to constantly scan for nearby Bluetooth devices. When iBeacon identifies a beacon, it can wake up relevant apps on someone's phone, even when an app is closed and not running in the background. Additionally, iPads and iPhones can act as beacons; they can emit beacon signals to wake up apps on other iOS devices. 

Rooted in Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, Apple’s iBeacons are already proving to have more potential in terms of real-world application and uptake. Firstly, the range of NFC is tiny. That's the point; you have to physically “tap” to connect. The range for iBeacons is up to 50 metres, and yet the precision is reported to be exceptional. Before iBeacons, devices relied on GPS and Wi-Fi triangulation to pin point a location. iBeacons place you to within feet by using BLE (Bluetooth low energy) – a smarter version of Bluetooth that isn't affected by physical barriers and uses almost no battery life.

What Do Beacons Mean for Retailers?

While NFC offered retailers the novelty factor, it fails to fulfill a genuine need. However iBeacon, for the first time, offers retailers a simple, cost-effective way of connecting with customers – not only as they walk through the door, but as they browse, queue for a service or indeed make a purchase. iBeacon can be used in multiple ways; to connect with customers and welcome them to the store, to send them vouchers and discount codes, to engage with them on social media and other online networks or to take payment for goods. iBeacon has the potential to help with marketing, customer retention, data collection and sales.

Despite Apple’s very soft launch, iBeacons are causing quite a stir among retailers, with some already rolling the technology out in stores. Lord & Taylor stores across the U.S. and select Hudson Bay stores in Canada will be launching iBeacons in store over the next few weeks, offering customers insight into the future of shopping. Users will have to have the corresponding app pre-loaded to their iPhone or iPad to see the notifications.

So is this the future of shopping? One thing seems very clear: the battle to win the mobile location-tracking space has ignited. Some ideas are half-baked. As for iBeacons? Many will be watching Apple's turnover. Once again, they seem poised to steal the limelight.

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Jun 18, 2021

Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking

APTIM
Intelliwave
3 min
Intelliwave Technologies outlines how it provides data and visibility benefits for APTIM

“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.

We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time  spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.

Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate. 

With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.

There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.

Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture. 

It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.

Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.

On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.

As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.

A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.

 

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