Long ago I wondered about those global positioning satellites above us. I thought about how they can pinpoint where we are and how we might use that technology for more than just targeting systems. Then mobile phones came out and not long after Google Maps showed us how to get around. When Bluetooth came about, our phones suddenly became part of a hyper-local tool kit that didn’t need a satellite and is far more accurate. Bluetooth gave birth to wireless headsets so we could talk hands free. It allows our phones to talk with our computers or our car. And as soon as we were able to download apps for our phones we had advertising to go with them. Then someone realized advertising could take advantage of that hyper-local tool kit and proximity marketing was born.
Beacons and proximity marketing aren’t just for commercial business uses. Higher education will use them to enrich the on-campus experience in 2016 (okay – maybe 2017). Here are some ways beacons will be used along with examples from the commercial world. Beacon technology offers higher ed some key advantages like reduced costs and increased efficiency. Some campuses have already begun to deploy beacon networks. The need to compete will drive other universities and colleges to deploy their own and enrich the student’s, alumnae, and other visitor’s mobile experience in order to compete.