A new report from BI Intelligence explains what beacons are, how they work, and how Apple — with its iBeacon implementation — is championing this new paradigm for indoor mobile communication.
Here are some of BI's findings:
Consumers seem receptive to beacons as a way to enhance their in-store shopping experience. Half of American adults already utilize their mobile devices in stores.
People are confused about Apple iBeacon because it has yet to take a true physical form. Apple hasn't manufactured a physical beacon. Instead, Apple's iBeacon is built into its devices and iOS7 mobile operating system.
The beacon wars are heating up. PayPal and Qualcomm are gearing up to challenge Apple with beacon hardware of their own. Smaller vendors like GPShopper are entering the mix with beacon management and consulting on top of hardware or software platforms.
Personalization is the buzz word of the day in mobile retail — showing people mobile ads and offers for things they already want. Maya Mikhailov, co-founder of GPShopper, believes beacons can be a key for making that happen.
"This is the real power of beacon integration into a mobile application," she was quoted as saying in Mobile Marketer. "It can be used for content, personalization and tailored messaging."