Category: beacon analytics

Is a Web Beacon Tracking Your Online Activity?

Do you feel insecure, knowing that your online activity is retrieved and tracked through various methods? Do you think this type of data collection is a breach of privacy? Did you know that a pixel tag could track what you view online? Whether you know it or not or even like it or not, there are small snippets of code embedded in HTML emails and web pages used to collect or transfer data about you, what you send through an email and what sites you visit online. You do not physically see this code, but it is there.

Also known as web bugs or page tags, web beacons are often used in combination with cookies. According to the website All About Cookies, a web beacon is typically a transparent graphic image (usually 1 pixel by 1 pixel) that is placed on a site or in an email. This transparent graphic image monitors the behavior of the user. The browser’s cookies or HTTP cookies are used for tracking, by storing user history data. This data collection is used by companies to segment promotional information to send to you or for in-house analytical information. If you turn off your HTTP cookies this will block web beacons from tracking your activity.

Online security is a very sensitive and hot topic nowadays in the business and private sectors. While tracking online activity is nothing new, it is imperative to be mindful of what you reveal in cyberspace. Web beacons analytics account for anonymous visits, but can be detected by viewing the source code of a web page. Personal information can easily be compromised if you are not cautious. Exercise common sense when sharing personal information at all times. Although a lot of information is legitimately collected about you and your activity while surfing the Internet, there remains a small percentage of dishonest cyber-predators waiting to steal and exploit your information if you are not careful about how you expose it online.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7552094

Feeding the World in the 21st Century: Applications in

The growing season of 2015 is already underway, when diligent farmers sow seeds that grow into fruits and vegetables that supply the population with nutritious calories. People come a long way since they stopped hunting and gathering for food in small nomadic tribes, but where are today’s farmers headed growing crops for an exponentially expanding society in an ever-changing environment? In both rural and urban settings, outdoor¬†WiFi Analytics, wireless sensors and wearable tech can give farmers the edge they need to produce the best yields to sell at the highest margins.

Across the agricultural timeline, smart farming-also known as precision agriculture-is still in its infancy, but like a young sapling it has huge potential. The benefits offered by having a farm connected to the web include reduced labor costs, decreased pollution and erosion, access to advanced analytic tools like up-to-date economic conditions on crop futures, climate data and crop tagging for diseases, pest infestation and genetic deformities. IP video camera systems can keep an eye on livestock and their handlers around the clock. A GPS-guided tractor can follow a carefully projected path to maximize seed spread with minimal fertilizer usage. Clay Mitchell of Waterloo, Iowa is a pioneer of smart farming technology. He regularly works with agricultural companies to incorporate his engineering expertise into new equipment that improves yields and sustainability. In a world of limited resources, Mitchell and other thought leaders will usher in the future of agriculture where automation and data analytics help produce successful harvests season after season.

Creating such a system for a farm is not without its own set of challenges. There are many courses of action a prospective farmer could take. An intranet could be built with a massive WLAN to keep data stored locally, but any cloud computing technology will require a backhaul supplied by a wireless internet service provider. A power over Ethernet system could be spread across one’s property, or a deployment of solar panels and/or wind turbines could supply electricity independent from the power grid. Should farmers contract an IT firm specializing in agriculture for a deployment, or build it themselves? Which hardware manufacturers and wireless protocols are they going to use? There are too many variables for easy answers, and in all likelihood each individual farm will require a unique solution.

But what if the burden of food production could be shifted away from the fields and into the cities closer to where the consumer lives? Now with Internet of Things technology, it is possible. Insulated from natural disasters like floods and droughts, an urban farm allows for granular control of resources. As water scarcity increases and traditional agriculture consumes about 80% of the nation’s water supply, using automated processes of resource management will avoid a crisis. Traditional indoor farming uses hydroponic systems to deliver water and nutrients to plants. However, these systems are cost-prohibitive and not economically feasible compared to rural farming. But there are innovations coming to market that could change urban farming methods, like the Smart Herb Garden from Click & Grow. It uses a new sponge-like material for soil that efficiently delivers nutrients, water and oxygen to crops. The large-scale Smart Farm system- set to begin full-scale retail distribution in 2016-allows for management of resources from one computer program. It is imperative this kind of technology achieves widespread adoption since the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations predicts that world food production must increase by 70% before 2050 in order to feed the population.

There are many more new ideas on the horizon that are going to make it easier to become a do-it-yourself farmer. CoolFarm is another central management application that facilitates agriculture on your smartphone. Any city dweller can live and work while growing their own food, or possibly get into the business of agriculture with a vertical farm. Those who have the space to do so can even help save the biodiversity of produce by beekeeping. The human race depends on the industrious bees to pollinate a wide array of foodstuffs. It is unacceptable to allow colony collapse disorder to decimate the bee population into extinction, but a web-connected device might solve this problem. MiteNot by Eltopia can sterilize male honeybees containing the microscopic Varroa destructor mite by detecting when females have laid their eggs before the males have fertilized them, heating up the hive just enough to kill the parasites while keeping the bees safe, without the use of pesticides. The sensors inside a MiteNot circuit board, camouflaged and embedded within a hive’s honeycombs, calculate how to time this process via a cloud-based application. This device is still undergoing testing but could be out to market by fall 2015.

If there is a particularly useful purpose for five billion devices connected to the web by the end of this year-and forty-five billion more by 2020-it is difficult to think of one more relevant than smart farming. Successful implementation that boosts yields and cuts down waste could make or break civilization. New trends in tech could lead to a revolution in agriculture, like drones inspecting fields to manage pest control, or the upcoming 802.11ah wireless protocol using the 900MHz band and capable of managing 8000 devices at once within a one-kilometer range. The goal of the industrialization of agriculture is to make it easier to produce large amounts of food at a reasonable cost, and as long as scientists and engineers work together with farmers to continue realizing that goal, everyone can look forward to the future with full stomachs.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9039559

The iBeacon App Development Solution for Internal and External Corporate Functions

Apple’s iBeacon uses Bluetooth Low Energy devices such as tablets and smartphones to send information. It holds great promise for automating and personalizing several functions via compatible apps or operating systems. So far, it is being used by companies to trigger location-based actions such as tracking customer location, sending personal offers etc. Three new iBeacon apps have been launched recently to leverage the beacon technology benefits for improving operations. These are –

1- iBeacon app for the exhibition industry: this application is highly advantageous for the exhibition centers to offer as a complimentary service. The cost of Beacon applications is next to negligible and in the face of future competition, this will become an included deal in all service packs. With this application, the visitors of the exhibition or event will be guided through the course of the event without any assistance from an usher, all using a virtual device. It will save the employment of manpower and visitors can view the exhibition at the leisure. The application can be used to mark stalls or object of interest, locate it in the venue and to send personal notifications based on the visitor’s interest.

2- iBeacon app for your Enterprises activities: enterprises, irrespective of their size have some common operations that will only differ in size. The iBeacon application can be used to track employee activities, allocate tasks, measure work efficiency and productivity and even keep attendance records. The data will be saved on the cloud for easy and secure storage and retrieval. Personalized messages and important notifications can be sent to individual employees or teams. This technology can be used to set work priorities and speed decision-making process. The application can be customized as per the individual business requirements of the company.

3- iBeacon app for an eCommerce Store: iBeacon has marked applications for the retail industry, both internally and externally in B2B and B2C transactions. Although this store has been designed for eCommerce stores, it can be used by brick-and-mortar stores with equal efficacy. Other than sending customer’s personal notifications on offers of interest, it can also be used to direct them to aisles where products they frequently purchase are placed, to direct them to exclusive sales among other things. It will not only enhance the shopping experience, but also free employees to manage the store operations as customers will not have to rely on them much.

The three applications have been designed to deliver futuristic services and improve overall operations and productivity.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9286279

Is a Web Beacon Tracking Your Online Activity?

Do you feel insecure, knowing that your online activity is retrieved and tracked through various methods? Do you think this type of data collection is a breach of privacy? Did you know that a pixel tag could track what you view online? Whether you know it or not or even like it or not, there are small snippets of code embedded in HTML emails and web pages used to collect or transfer data about you, what you send through an email and what sites you visit online. You do not physically see this code, but it is there.

Also known as web bugs or page tags, web beacons are often used in combination with cookies. According to the website All About Cookies, a web beacon is typically a transparent graphic image (usually 1 pixel by 1 pixel) that is placed on a site or in an email. This transparent graphic image monitors the behavior of the user. The browser’s cookies or HTTP cookies are used for tracking, by storing user history data. This data collection is used by companies to segment promotional information to send to you or for in-house analytical information. If you turn off your HTTP cookies this will block web beacons analytics from tracking your activity.

Online security is a very sensitive and hot topic nowadays in the business and private sectors. While tracking online activity is nothing new, it is imperative to be mindful of what you reveal in cyberspace. Web beacons account for anonymous visits, but can be detected by viewing the source code of a web page. Personal information can easily be compromised if you are not cautious. Exercise common sense when sharing personal information at all times. Although a lot of information is legitimately collected about you and your activity while surfing the Internet, there remains a small percentage of dishonest cyber-predators waiting to steal and exploit your information if you are not careful about how you expose it online.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7552094

From Fiction To Reality The Evolution Of Beacon Technology

Technology is advancing at a rapid pace, gradually turning every science fiction into reality. Beacon technology is one of those technological advancements, which was once a figment of the imagination of many researchers. Let’s have a look at how beacon technology is evolving and changing our business world.

What is a Beacon?

A Beacon is a tiny, battery-powered, wireless, low-cost sensor with a built-in Bluetooth chip device that works on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). It allows Bluetooth enabled devices to receive data within short distances.

Beacon device is designed in such a way that it is easy to fix anywhere and can be efficiently used by everyone. It continuously broadcasts a radio signal, and when a device receives this signal it reads the beacon’s ID and triggers the action in the smartphone app based on the proximity of the beacon. What makes a beacon technology different is its ability to “wake up” an app, which is not open but has been downloaded on the Smartphone.

Deep Dive into Beacon Technology

Most beacons use BLE technology / Bluetooth Smart Technology as it requires low energy consumption and low implementation cost. The technology only allows for small amounts of data transmission, and it is the reason most beacons only transmit their IDs.

Beacon IDs consists of three values:

  • Universally unique identifier (UUID)
  • Major value
  • Minor value

The purpose of transmitting the ID is to distinguish a beacon from all other beacons in a network. Major and Minor values are the integer values assigned to the beacon, for greater accuracy in identification. Beacon also carries information about its signal power to determine the proximity of the source.

iBeacon

iBeacon is a brand name created by Apple Inc., which was first presented at the World Wide Developer’s Conference in 2014 as part of Apple’s iOS 7. It is a technology innovation of Apple that has been implemented in the location framework in iOS 7 and newer operating systems. As described above, iBeacon uses BLE technology to sense proximity and transmit a UUID, which triggers an action in a compatible app or operating system.

Eddystone – A Game Changer

In response to iBeacons, Google came up with its beacon project called Eddystone on July 14, 2015, with more open and flexible approach. Eddystone is Google’s open-source, cross-platform BLE beacon format. While Apple’s iBeacon only works with iOS devices, Eddystone works with both Android and iOS devices. Unlike iBeacons, they broadcast not only their UUID but also pre-programmed web page URLs and thus don’t require the installation of specific apps. The URL could be a regular web page providing relevant information, for e.g. a beacon next to a restaurant can broadcast a link to a YouTube clip or their specialty menu. Certainly, Eddystone will bring in new IoT use cases.

Beacons Empowered

With this drastic rise in beacon technology, companies are investing in this technology to generate greater revenues. Here I have given a brief detail about how retail industry is utilizing and availing benefits of beacon technology.

Smart Retail

The rapidly growing e-Commerce industry has resulted in the decrease of footfall and in-store sales for both the small-time retailers and big brands. In-stores have understood that they have to mimic e-commerce in the areas of personalized offers and shopping experiences.

Thus, Retail is a critical area where beacons are expected to bring huge impact – from proximity marketing to contactless payments to in-store analytics. 85% of the retail industry is expected to leverage beacon technology by the end of the year 2016. Beacons may seem like hype today, but let’s have a glance at few of its revolutionary aspects.

Beacons send location awareness alerts, updates on merchandise/products, and promotional notifications to tempt a passerby to enter the store. It can also be used to analyse customers who walk past the store and their visit duration. This analysis will help in making strategic decisions on product display.

Beacons use in-store navigation and provide real-world analytics like:

  • The areas and items a customer likes to explore
  • Where a customer spent most of her/his time
  • What and when s/he makes a purchase
  • Most in-store rushed locations
  • In-store deserted locations
  • Busiest days of the store
  • Number of people who walk into their store per day

These data provides insight into customer behavior and store performance. This analysis will help the retailers to organize their products, prices and place their products in strategic locations on strategic days and time. By knowing the repeated visitors to the store, retailers can reward those customers with loyalty benefits for their purchase.

Beacon makes a customer’s in-store journey personalized and unique. It fetches data from the wish list of a customer and notifies him when he comes across that particular product. It also recommends products based on price, quality, and offers to provide better in-store experience.

The customers who have already set up their payment information through their smartphone can use a connected beacon and complete their purchase by processing their payment (a.k.a contactless payment) without waiting in long queues. When a payment is done, the stock will be automatically updated.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9512119

Top 10 Reasons Why Businesses Should Adopt Beacons

The word “Beacon” actually means something visibly attractive or bright enough to convey a message or act as a signal. “iBeacons” is a concept originally introduced by Apple Inc. which is used as an indoor positioning and proximity based messaging system. As the concept gained popularity, several companies have emerged to manufacture hardware and develop mobile device applications exclusively for Beacon technology. Estimote, BluseSense and Onyx to name a few. But what’s so inviting? Why as a Company you should make use of this? These are the top 10 reasons:

Low IT Investment

Hardware associated with Beacons are low-cost, low-powered and can act both as a transmitter and a receiver. These pieces have Bluetooth chips embedded within supported by a lithium battery (similar to a wrist watch) and support a range of around 50 to 70 meters. Most of the top companies offer 3 such Beacon analytics transceivers for less than 100 USD. Cost is a negligible factor here.

Rapid Kick Start

Rather than months or weeks, it just takes few days to put Beacons to work. Beacons are flexible that you can test them on a smaller scale to begin with and expand on-the-go. Once you define a set of marketing messages and configure which beacon to display what information, these transceivers can be stuck to any hard and dry surface like walls and that’s it! you have installed them.

Low Maintenance Cost

Compared to other Enterprise Applications and Marketing Software, Beacons completely avoid the hardware maintenance cost (except changing the battery and a Server) and incurs a very less cost towards managing the associated application, analyzing the results obtained from your customers and gain insights.

Automation at its best

Once they start working, human intervention is not required at all. Beacons will start push messages and display ad content such as images and videos as soon as the user reaches the range or according to the time interval set by the administrator. It doesn’t matter how many users are in the range at the same time. Beacons can handle things all by themselves.

Highly Sensitive towards Context

Context based advertisement is the key for marketing independent of the industry. Individual Beacon can be set to display targeted message based on a defined criteria (device used, location of the device etc.). A single Beacon technology can display multiple messages based on the context of the receiver.

Universal applicability

Industry Vertical is not a constraint as Beacons can be used in any industry. Find below a very minimal list of applications;

Guide your Customers:

  • Airports
  • Hospitals
  • Museums
  • Shopping Malls
  • Conference Halls

Display Ad Content, Offers and Discounts

  • Retail Shops
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants

Engage with your Employees/Students

  • Manufacturing Plant
  • Universities
  • IT Firms

Collect Customer feedback

  • Any Industry

And much more.

Make the business future ready

It’s evident that usage of mobile devices are increasing exponentially day by day. With this technology designed exclusively for mobile devices, you will enable a rock solid foundation for your business’ future as far as marketing and customer or user engagement is concerned.

Delight your Customers

It is already a proven location-based technology which can provoke customer’s interest based on real-time and context sensitive engagement. Its rest assured that the customers or users will be delighted and enjoy such services.

Reduced Man-power investment

As you have an error free and automated guiding and marketing system in place, very less investment is required in terms of man-power to do the same.

Beyond basics – Analytics

As Beacons keep recording the happenings and also collect information from users (with their knowledge and permission) which can be stored and analyzed. The results can be used to gain more insights about user’s interest and design better campaigns. It can also be used to enhance existing content management system.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8974346