updated 09:17 am EST, Tue December 10, 2013
Bluetooth LE continues retail push
Less than a week after Apple began deploying its iBeacon technology inside US retail stores, Qualcomm has launched its own alternative. Known as Gimbal, Qualcomm's proximity beacons also take advantage of low-power Bluetooth LE to help retailers optimize their smartphone-enhanced shopping experience as customers move throughout a store.
The beacons are claimed to be accurate down to one foot, enabling retailers to tailor marketing material and promotions to specific locations or displays. A geofence trigger could be used to greet a customer when they walk in a store, while a proximity sensor could be used to give shopping tips or present special offers.
Qualcomm is preparing two editions: the Series 10 beacon with a battery life between a few months and a year, and the Series 20 beacon with a battery life of one to three years. Prices are expected to range from $5 to $10 per unit, depending on the purchase volume.
The company currently offers an iOS app that can be used as a mobile advertising platform by retailers or other venues, while an Android edition is expected to arrive in the near future.