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The Most Common Misconceptions about Beacons

November 20, 2016 by Posted in: Growth Hacking

Beacons have been trending since June 2013. Ever since beacons were launched, there has been large-scale deployment and dozens of trials of the same with major brands also jumping on the beacon bandwagon. While there has been an extensive buzz around beacons, we have realized that the available information available about these devices is very little.

Currently, beacons are only used in retail marketing.

SEO Hero, Indexsy

iBeacon, just like any other technology, is not short of misinterpretation and cross-reading. This might be due to the fact that there is very little information available on beacons. Here are some of the most disturbing misconceptions around beacons.

  • There is no difference between Beacons and iBeacon

When it comes to beacons, the most disturbing misunderstanding is that beacons and iBeacon is the same thing. However, the truth is that a beacon is a hardware device, which makes use of iBeacon technology. iBeacon is not actually a product but it’s a technology. It’s a system that Apple has built into their latest version of iOS 7 mobile operating system. Apple is planning to use iBeacon as their trademark for their future BLE products as well as systems. iBeacon not only allow both iPhones and iPads to continually scan for Bluetooth devices that are nearby, but it also allows them to emit beacon signals to stimulate apps on other iOS devices.

  • You must have an app to use beacons

While one type of beacon requires you to have an app, it’s not necessarily true that you must have an app for you to use beacons. You can bypass the app by using the Eddystone –URL, which is also called the Physical Web beacons protocol. Eddystone-URL eliminates the need for an app and therefore, it allows you to use the features of the iBeacon without having to install an app on your device.

By using the iBeacon frame, Eddystone can wake up apps on both Apple’s iOS and Googe’s Android. This actually means that just like the iBeacon, Eddystone can also leverage the ability to wake up apps on iOS.

One of the biggest myths that surround beacons is that Bluetooth drains the phone battery. In reality, beacons broadcast a Bluetooth Low Energy signal, which is also known as Bluetooth Smart and sometimes called Bluetooth 4.0, which is actually designed to significantly reduce power consumption. You can’t actually compare Bluetooth Smart with the old Bluetooth when it comes to power consumption. Simply put, Bluetooth Smart or BLE does not drain phone battery as you might have heard or thought.