Beacons - Overview

    Description

    Beacons, particularly popular in retail, are low-energy devices broadcasting either a unique identifier or a URL. By assigning a beacon to individual items, content providers can create a contextual bridge between product/service/information displays and mobile devices. Thanks to this omni-channel scenario, visitors will take information with them about a given item, making the content "stickier" and thus more influential and memorable. The effect is so pronounced that digital signage and beacon technology have been labeled the new power couple.

    IntuiFace supports three beacon-enabled scenarios:

    • Proximity Detection: Use to identify when an item has been lifted from or returned to its original position.
    • App Notification: Use to display information on a mobile device in the context of an existing beacon.
    • URL Notification: Use to broadcast a URL, enabling IntuiFace to act as its own beacon.

    NOTE

    • IntuiFace beacon support is available for Player on Windows, iPad and Android devices. Not all scenarios are available on all supported devices.
    • Support requires your Windows PC, iPad or Android device to support Bluetooth Low Energy (aka Bluetooth LE, aka BLE). A third party dongle with Bluetooth LE support would also work for Windows PCs.
    • Complete system requirements, see here.
    • Best practices for IntuiFace's beacon support can be found here.

    How it works

    IntuiFace beacon support is achieved by adding either of two interface assets to your experience. Although your Players will need to meet the IntuiFace system requirements for beacon support, you can design your experience in Composer on any Windows PC, even if the computer isn't Bluetooth LE enabled. In this case, you won't be able to test your project in Play Mode and will have to perform your tests on the target platform.

    Use cases

    Proximity

    Display contextual information as items are picked up from or replaced to their original position.

    Proximity-scenario.gif

    Sample Usage

    • Your IntuiFace experience is running on a kiosk / table / wall.
    • Each beacon is uniquely associated with a single item on the shelf.
    • Users will lift a physical object (product) - and thus its attached beacon - triggering the IntuiFace experience to display information about the raised (lifted) item.

    Prerequisites

    • Works on Windows (7, 8.1 and 10), iPad and Android devices supporting Bluetooth LE.
    • You can use any of the beacons described below.
    • You need to use the Beacon Detection interface asset.

    App notification

    Display information as users advance towards your beacons.

    App_notification_scenario.gif

    Sample Usage

    • Your IntuiFace experience is running on a tablet
    • Your beacons are at a fixed location, next to an object that will not move.
    • The user will move along with the tablet in their hands. When they stand next to an object with an associated beacon, the tablet will display more information about it.

    Prerequisites

    • Works on Windows (7, 8.1 and 10), iPad and Android devices supporting Bluetooth LE.
    • You can use any of the beacons described below.
    • You need to use the Beacon Detection interface asset.

    URL Notification

    Have your IntuiFace experience broadcast a URL using the EddyStone-URL™ protocol. This scenario is core to the Physical Web™.

    The_URL_Notification_scenario.gif

    Sample Usage

    • Your IntuiFace experience is running on a kiosk / table / wall.
    • A user wants to put information on a personal device (e.g. mobile phone or tablet).
    • Your kiosk behaves as a beacon, broadcasting a URL using the Eddystone-URL protocol.
    • The user, on a Bluetooth LE-enabled device, receives this URL and opens the target material in a Web browser.

    Prerequisites

    • Works on Windows devices supporting a specific Bluetooth LE stack. See here for more details about this Bluetooth LE requirement.
    • The user is in possession of any Bluetooth LE-enabled mobile phone or tablet capable of receiving a URL broadcast using Eddystone-URL, respecting all basic Physical Web principles.
    • You need to use the URL Broadcast interface asset.

    System Requirements

    For a detailed list of technical requirements for working with beacons, see this page.