Have you noticed a message from a restaurant, store or service business pop up on your Android phone? The message is most likely coming from a device called a Bluetooth Low Energy Beacon, otherwise known as a Proximity Beacon. These small devices can transmit targeted messages and information to nearby mobile devices via Bluetooth.

It’s not surprising that brick-and-mortar stores have been the earliest adopters of beacons, but other businesses are getting in on the act. Because the beacons are portable and can transmit up to several hundred feet, they can be carried in cars and trucks and in purses and laptop bags. As a result, service businesses and solopreneurs are also starting to carry them around. House cleaning crews can have one in the car and transmit a message about their services to the homes in the neighborhood where they are currently cleaning. An entrepreneur could take the beacon to Starbucks or a networking event or expo and share a link to their website.

Beacons are only one-way transmitters; they detect nearby devices in order to send them messages, but you don’t get information back unless you include a link in your message with a call-to-action that the user decides to fill out.

Multiple beacons can be placed around an area like a building or a stadium. We’ve heard of people burying them in landscaping!

Beacons typically cost around $20-30, but prices do vary according to signal range and type of battery used.

If you’re interested in learning more about beacons and how to use them, watch a short video here (full disclosure – we are a reseller of beacons). Feel free to contact us as well!