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What is Google’s Project Beacon and did you Receive One?

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Did you receive a small box from Google with a mysterious small device in it? And if you didn’t, are you wondering how you business can benefit from it? We will give you a quick overview of what Project Beacon is, and guide you how to request one for yourself.

1. WHAT IS PROJECT BEACON FROM GOOGLE?

Very recently, Google started sending free beacon devices to businesses across the country that could benefit from the new technology. Technology itself is not that new, but it is a new way of looking at the opportunity that a beacon device provides long-term.  Businesses that received their devices first, currently use Google’s advertising services, and have enabled location extensions.

A Google Beacon is a small battery powered device that sends one-way signals, these are readable by nearby Bluetooth low energy devices, such as smartphones and tablets. 

The signals emitted from the beacon give an accurate location of where the beacon is located, this means that it can track when people are in that specific location without using GPS technology.  Because your store’s actual physical location is programmed within your beacon, your phone will then use the signal from the beacon to understand that the user is actually physically in your store – as opposed to relying on other, less accurate location based signals.

2. HOW CAN A BEACON BENEFIT MY STORE OR MY BUSINESS?

Right now a beacon device notifies Google about the accurate location of your business. There will be many more applications in development soon, but here is what you can expect for now:

  • Help your business show up on personal maps or saved places, where users have opted in to Location History.
  • Gather photos, reviews, and other user-generated content for your business from people who’ve actually visited.
  • Provide features like popular times and typical visit duration to help customers plan their visit to your business.
  • Help provide Location Insights about how customers engage with your store.
  • If you are using Google AdWords (now Google Ads), you will also be able to take advantage of their new metrics:  Store Visit Conversion Tracking. If you had an AdWords campaign for a certain product, the Beacon can be placed in that products location and will know if somebody who has seen that ad on their phone goes to the location of the product.

3. HOW DO I ACTIVATE MY GOOGLE BEACON?

If you received a beacon from Google, you can activate it here:

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4. WHERE CAN I REQUEST A GOOGLE BEACON?

Just use the link below to request a beacon for your business.  It’s not guaranteed that each person requesting a device will receive one.

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5. WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF A BEACON?

As new apps are being developed, they will be triggered by the device and send information to user’s smartphone devices. What that information might be?

Imagine you are shopping at a mall and the store is offering a one-day flash sale.  They will be able to send you a personalized discount based on you passing by their location. They may already know that you shopped at their store prior.

How about walking to a restaurant and while waiting for you table, you will be served a full menu on your mobile device before even reaching your table.

The possibilities of a beacon use are limitless and we hope to see it transform the way we use and receive information in the future.

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