Thanks to the advancement of technology, we can now safely say that global communication has become readily accessible to us; even to the extent of one swipe of the fingertip. And there exists a range of apps that are making things easy for us, especially when it comes to keeping people connected and aware of what is happening around them. One such invention is the ‘iBeacons’. They are very small Bluetooth devices that have the potential to revolutionise the experience delegates have at events. With the ability to send location-based messages directly to an attendee’s smartphone, they open the door for event communications to be more direct and interactive.
ShowGizmo, the company responsible for creating the app, hasn’t launched it yet in the region; however Founder, Marie-Claire Andrews, plans to give the Bahraini audience a taste of its great usage very soon. Marie-Claire, who has a background in venture capital, business development and technology and has owned several businesses, spoke to DT News on how the device/app is one to lookout for in Bahrain.
DT News- How do you project the growth of iBeacons in the near future?
Marie: To put the potential of iBeacons in context, in the next five years they are projected to reach 60 billion devices. Now’s the time event planners should be thinking of how they can harness this exciting technology to t r a n s f o r m how they communicate with and engage their attendees. Imagine the scene: attendees are queuing to come into an event. Event planners can set up a beacon that tells the event app to send a helpful message, like “Welcome to our event! There’s fresh coffee just to your right.
DT News- Have similar devices and apps been introduced in Bahrain before?
Marie: iBeacons are new to the region, and we’re not aware of any other iBeacon deployments in Bahrain. We’re really looking forward to pioneering the launch.
DT News-Can iBeacons be utilized for purposes/settings besides events?
Marie- iBeacons can be used in any situation where location based contextual content is important – think shopping malls in particular! We see that there will be a rise of iBeacons in malls, hotels and venues as the owners and managers of those location wish to interact personally with their visitors via their mobile device. Hotels love the iBeacons – we have had a great deal of interest from conference venues and hotels in New Zealand and Australia – because they can connect with visitors that might not be staying with them; those visiting for events. They can cross sell their accommodation, vouchers for dining etc to a whole new audience.
DT News- How much does the app cost and how will it revolutionize staying connected?
Marie-The app costs just 800BHD per event, or 2000BHD for a suite of apps branded in the client’s livery. This includes the full range of features which allows event organisers to stop spending money on other, more outdated technologies – like door scanners, or live polling handsets. There’s no need to pay for other technology when your audience has the means to be connected with, in their own pockets! People already share elements of their life via their phones to social media, using them at events is the logical step and the app allows them to do that – adding messages to a private social network only other app users can view for example.