Beacons will provide Target customers with in-store deal notifications
Target is going to start experimenting with using beacons in some of its stores, to try and nudge customers towards certain products. The retailer will be fitting out 50 of its stores across the United States with the system, which will push notifications and recommendations to customer smartphones about offers and other deals over Bluetooth, as it attempts to increase sales in a challenging retail environment with cheaper online competition.
Bluetooth LE beacons using Eddystone will work with iOS, Android devices
Google is going after Apple's iBeacon by revealing a new standard for Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons. Eddystone is claimed to be an open BLE beacon format that will be platform agnostic, allowing it to work with Android, iOS, and other operating systems, with Google supplying APIs and resources for developers and hardware manufacturers to create new apps and beacons using the format, as well as to make existing beacons compatible with a firmware update.
Beacons will trigger Facebook Place Tips on customer smartphones
Facebook is giving businesses another way to interact with customers, by offering stores Bluetooth beacons. The free devices are able to trigger Facebook's Place Tips on a customer's smartphone if they have the Facebook app installed, providing them with more information about the business, a welcome note, posts from the company's Facebook page, and also any friend recommendations relating to the business.
Project gains Bluetooth LE beacon stickers, competes with iBeacon
Google's attempt to take on Apple's iBeacon platform has taken its first major step since its announcement in October, with the release of hardware compatible with the framework. Blesh, a Turkish company who already works with iBeacon hardware, is offering a bundle of Bluetooth beacons for use with the "Physical Web" project.
Home automation solution ties together existing products like Hue, Nest
Welcome to Tuesday's edition of the Crowdfunding Critic. Every Tuesday and Thursday, the staff at Electronista and MacNN take a look at a few crowdfunding requests to offer up a project that we find interesting to our readers. It's important that this isn't taken as an endorsement of the project, but rather a neat find that we think people could have an interest in. As with all crowdfunding campaigns, the ones we talk about come with risk, even if the project reaches its funding threshold. With that word of warning out of the way to encourage smart investing, this time we'll be talking about a home automation solution, the Airfy Beacon.
Plug-in dongle detects PayPal app on smartphones, alerts merchant
PayPal has introduced a new dongle for mobile transactions that allows for hands-free payments in stores. The PayPal Beacon, designed to be plugged in at retail environments, uses Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy to communicate with smartphones running the PayPal mobile app, with customers able to allow payments to continue by confirming with store employees, rather than pressing anything on their smartphone.
Griffin Beacon now talks to Android tablet, phone
Griffin filled a gap in Android home theater control by releasing Beacon for Android. The combination of the device and Dijit's app gives the same Bluetooth-to-IR remote control support as from the iOS version of half a year ago. It's optimized both for smartphones and tablets and takes advantage of the extra space on a tablet to show the program listing, detailed show info, and the remote all at once.