Saturday, July 26, 2014

Which iBeacon Vendor Provider should I use?

We hear this question a lot, "Which iBeacon Vendor Provider should I use?" The answer is, "it depends." It depends on how many venues you have and how many iBeacons per venue you want to deploy.  This is a matter of scale, and you want to pick an iBeacon vendor that can scale. For this reason, our top 3 iBeacon vendors as of June 2014 are Gimbal, inMarket, and ShopKick. See more in the State of the iBeacons infographic. If you are just have venue, than Estimote beacons might be the right choice for you.

The iBeacons LinkedIn Special Interest Group commented, "The good news for beacon providers is that this isn't a "Ricky Bobby" market and there is plenty of opps for all" and "This entire market is still in its infancy. The true champs will be very obvious in due time. Sophisticated dashboards with visual metrics and analytics are great and all, but they aren’t worth shit unless people download the app it’s monitoring. At the end of the day, it all comes down to design and giving the customer what they want, then building on top of that."

"One of the biggest challenges with Estimote is that you can't replace the battery. In other words if the power runs out, you have to shell out some hard $$ to buy a new set of beacons as opposed to spend few bucks to replace a AA battery (Gimbal and couple others). Also, they should enable a power plug hub so that these beacons can be plugged into a power source. Several other vendors provide that capacity."

 "Does anyone know anything specific about the beacon hardware deployed (and manufactured by?) by inMarket and Shopkick? The website for each company is rather vague about their beacon hardware - inMarket has a photo that shows a beacon the size of a quarter (impressive, but expect short battery life?), and Shopkick claims the battery in its beacon will last five years (surprisingly, however, there's little to no press regarding the result of it's late 2013 Macy's rollout or early 2014 American Eagle rollout)... How did these tech companies so quickly get into the hardware business? and how solid is the hardware?"

IndoorLBS has been monitoring the iBeacons industry since its infancny and we have published reports that will answer many of your questions. The Reports include over 100 iBeacons solution providers, and over 30 Retailers, Airports, Museums, Bars, Restaurants that have already deployed iBeacons. See more here.