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Beacons are low-cost, low-powered transmitters equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy or BLE (also called Bluetooth 4.0 or Bluetooth Smart) that can be used to deliver proximity-based, context-aware messages. They are perfect for detecting smartphones indoors, where GPS isn’t always effective, and sending alerts and data to apps on those devices. Also, while GPS operates at a macro range, beacons work at micro range, giving you an opportunity to interact with clients not only at a store level but also target narrowly at an aisle or a fixture level. In terms of range, beacons function in the interim of NFC (too narrow) and GPS (too broad) ranges, and that is what makes it more effective than the other two. It’s the first proximity technology that is supported by all major mobile platforms. Apart from being inexpensive, they have a battery life of approximately two years and being low-energy, they don’t even eat into a user’s phone battery.

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