In Trieste, Italy, there have been some recent experiments with Bluetooth beacons at bus stops. A proximity marking project, when people are within 20 meters of the beacon they can receive notifications with useful location-relevant information. Currently, there are about 30 beacons set up sharing mostly touristic information. You can get info such as the best way to get into the city, how to download relevant apps or info about nearby landmarks.
It is not an iBeacon and app project – the more “traditional” beacon proximity marketing project. It is actually an Eddystone URL beacon project. With chrome installed and Bluetooth on, many Android users can see the notification without downloading an app. It is difficult to reach iOS users and it is more of a silent notification. But overcoming the barrier of getting users to download an app, and for that matter creating an app if you don’t have one, has been a very cost-effective way to reach people at the right time and place.
As those familiar with the Bluetooth beacon space know, the case studies with iBeacons and apps still far exceed the published case studies of Eddystone URL. It is interesting to see this project comes from the transportation office of a city and not a private firm. Also, note that they are using the Eddystone URLs in part to promote an app on the app stores. The tests will run until December 2018. We will see if they launch a larger network. And of course, if more cities pick up on this project and begin testing their own Eddystone URL beacons.
Read more on Il Piccolo (original article in Italian).
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