Qualcomm has launched its Gimbal proximity beacons which are now commercially available for retailers in two models at lower cost than Apple's iBeacons. The Series 10 beacons are available for as low as $5 each and Series 20 beacons are available for as low as $10 each.
Qualcomm presented its Gimbal proximity beacons to the world. They happen to work equally well in an indoor environment as they do in an outdoor one. The Gimbal platform is useful for micro-location purposes. Customers’ mobiles are tracked and locale, time, activity and preferences are noted down by the device. It also pinpoints the needs of the clientele and does away with the unnecessary stuff. The Gimbal's Bluetooth Smart proximity devices give tough competition to Apple's iBeacons.
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The overall Gimbal context aware platform supports both iOS and Android devices. The Gimbal proximity beacons employ low energy Bluetooth Smart. These Bluetooth enabled low energy Gimbal proximity beacons now support only iOS devices. But Qualcomm has planned to launch Android supporting Gimbal proximity beacons too in the future. Arriving in two models, the Series 20 and the Series 10, the proximity beacons are handled by Gimbal Manager. As for the battery life, it is long indeed. The Series 10 have a year long battery life. And the Series 20 have one extending to three years.
President of Qualcomm Retail Solutions, Rocco Fabiano said, “With the availability of Gimbal proximity beacons, we are empowering brands to take mobile engagement with their customers to a whole new level through micro-location. Gimbal – with its proximity beacons that use low-energy Bluetooth Smart – is the complete package. Given the affordable pricing of the beacons, retailers and venue operators can install a network for customer engagement that is both more accurate and less expensive than other location-based systems.”
The tracking of iOS and Android shoppers is an addition to the luxuries of retail therapy. Basically it is a form of short distance surveillance. There are no issues of privacy invasion here. Qualcomm and Gimbal are to be congratulated on this new invention that builds on older versions.
The Series 10 costs about $5 while the Series 20 costs as low as $10, depending upon the volume of beacons. However, for the shoppers who like to snatch whatever captures their fancy this is a priceless tool of the trade. It will help them immensely in their shelf exploring activities.