Thoughts

Lighthouse - mobile platform that uses Apple's iBeacon

By Ben Howden14th January 2014
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We're excited to welcome an innovative new mobile product to the Inlight family – Lighthouse. Lighthouse is a mobile marketing software platform that leverages Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons to deliver content and experiences based on proximity to things in the physical world.

With a few small tweaks Lighthouse can turn your existing mobile app into a powerful location-based marketing channel and our real world analytics platform can provide valuable analytics such as walkbys, entries, dwell time, visit duration, frequency and conversions.

“In the last few years, mobile has come a very long way, yet the opportunity to connect the offline world with the online world is only just being fully realised now,” said Inlight Strategy Director Ben Howden. “Our goal with Lighthouse is to take existing mobile applications and use them to augment the physical world. With the recent availability of Bluetooth Low Energy beacons, we now have the power to deliver some pretty amazing in venue experiences.”

Beacons are small wireless devices that broadcast tiny radio signals. Smartphones that are nearby are able to listen for these signals and communicate with the beacon and exchange data and information. A beacon can be attached to any flat surface in almost any location and can last up to two years on a single battery.

Lighthouse isn’t the first mobile product launched by the Inlight – the same team is responsible for the development of successful mobile shopping app MiiBrand , which now has over 50,000 users. Whilst MiiBrand is primarily a consumer platform, Lighthouse is targeted at large businesses that already have a mobile app presence and are looking to take their location based marketing efforts to the next level.

Although the Inlight team sees retail as an obvious beneficiary of the platform, they are also looking at applications across a wide range of industries including tourism, events, fitness, galleries and even hospitality.

When asked about applications outside of retail, Howden points to galleries and museums as being a perfect candidate for Lighthouse and beacons. “Imagine your visitors using your museum’s app and as they stand in front of an art piece, their device snaps into life, displaying information about the item and artist,” says Howden. “They could even have virtual tour guide or watch a video about its history.” “And to really top off the experience, now imagine being able to see which of your friends have stood and looked at the same piece and what they thought of it,” he continues.

The Lighthouse platform combines a cloud based Campaign Centre to schedule and publish campaigns, low energy Bluetooth beacons to install at venues, and a real time analytics platform to understand in store visitor behaviour and measure mobile campaign results. There’s also the Lighthouse Software Development Kit (SDK) that quickly transforms an existing mobile app into a location enabled marketing tool