Identifying the Potential of Location-Based Technologies- Wi-Fi, GPS & Beacons

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Location-based services are turning out to be the backbone of some mobile app categories. Discover their potential and take a wise call as per your needs.

Location-based services were never in trend until mobile technology opened the gate of opportunities and possibilities. The boundaries have been dismissed and people can stay connected 24×7. It has certainly disrupted the tech market, not just by rubbishing boundary barrier but with the proficiencies and capabilities it brings to the table.

Location is turning out to be a crucial aspect for some categories of apps. The feature that held the least importance, is now becoming one of the favorite choices for business owners. Why wouldn’t it be? It aids in enhancing the user experience by enabling marketers to target the right set of audience in the right geographical area.

IoT, another trending concept that is doing the rounds lately has a lot to do with location. Location is referred to as one of the prime principles of the IoT concept or anything that is connected to the Internet because communication done between the devices is a sheer piece of waste if the location is unknown.

Mobile development companies have sighted the potential of location-based services and are presently quenching to use the same at full throttle. The mobile apps with location-detection are considered to perform & execute well in terms of targeting and engagement. There are a number of ways to accomplish this. We provide you insights and pros & cons of each technology for you to understand them better and pick the one that fits your bill.

Location-based technologies for mobile apps

1. Wi-Fi

It has been around for a while now blessing devices to connect, collaborate and communicate. Popular among indoor working environments like offices, universities, business centres, homes and more, it has contributed tremendously to the industry. It allows the existing Wi-Fi infrastructure to get associated with devices around that have their Wi-Fi enabled.

Over time businesses of varied domains, ranging from hospitality to travel, from education to gaming & leisure, from retail to real estate have used it for sending relevant push notifications and other useful information to their customers. Breaking down the real potential of Wi-Fi we list down several pros and cons of the same below.

Pros

  • No app is required to enjoy its capabilities
  • Accessed by all as it requires authentication details (that too for a private network, public networks are freely accessible) to get started
  • Works as an engaging tool for retail stores/shops/organizations
  • High-speed internet connection for fast sharing

Cons

  • Privacy concerns prevail as the wireless signals are subject to interference
  • Context-aware messaging isn’t viable with Wi-Fi

GPS (Global Positioning System)

Popularly used in outdoor environments, GPS extracts location coordinates like a boss. It is one fine technology helping businesses to extract the desirable. It is prevalent for businesses offering cab services, logistics facilities, transportation industry and to individuals searching for directions on daily basis. The range isn’t restricted and possibilities are immense, hence it manages to steal the cake every time and push messages to users’ devices using their coordinates.

Pros

  • Range isn’t a constraint
  • Users are explicitly asked for permissions
  • Globally acclaimed and accessed
  • Bane to commercial services as well as individuals
  • Lets you maneuver and reach destination through the unknown

Cons

  • Consumes more power creating a leak in the device’s battery
  • Indoor receptions aren’t good enough

3. Beacons

Beacons are considered to be the best location-based technology of this modern era. Using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), the signals are transferred by physical entities called beacons, which are then received by devices whose Bluetooth feature is enabled and are within the range of a specific beacon. With its intuitive character and supreme personalization capabilities, it has won hearts of business owners and mobile app developers who can now market their products to target audience more effectively than ever.

Also Read: iBeacon Technology: What, How and Where?

Beacons have served multiple business domains including travel, food, retail, health and more helping in improving customer engagement and providing them with an impeccable experience based on past habits, preferences and interests. Beacons are popular in shopping malls, retail outlets, restaurants, tourist spots and places where people visit often. It has helped businesses to tap on opportunities, which never existed.

Also Read: 3 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Developing Beacon Apps

Pros

  • Customized targeting to the desired set of audience
  • Augmented user experience
  • Extended customer reach and revenue
  • Ideal for context-aware messaging

Cons

  • Being reliant on others for making things work (like not every business uses beacons)
  • Promising technology but hard to master due to lot of variables

Final thoughts

Since, potential of each is known, next is the selection of a location-based technology that can power your business. There isn’t a predefined formula, instead, it all depends on your project’s requirements and purpose. In some cases, it has been observed that the combination of two or may be three of the technologies mentioned above work wonders to your business.

Since, user experience is the apex and each business is working on levitating the same, beacons and BLE technology will play a crucial role in the years to come. There are opportunities for mobile application development companies to make use of and provide businesses with a gateway to a propelling future growth.

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About Author
Sahil Miglani

Sahil Miglani

An IT Engineer, a Digital Marketer and a Content Marketing Specialist, Sahil Miglani enjoys technical as well as non-technical writing. His passion and urge for gaining new insights on gadgets, smartphones and technology has led him to Konstant Infosolutions. He quenches his thirst for technology through his action oriented writing skills and a profound ability to stay up to date with latest industry trends. Besides this, Sahil is a sports appreciator, a Sachin Tendulkar fan and a keen follower of cricket. He also has a flair for writing sports content. He lives with the belief that his hobbies have turned into his profession, no wonder he is writing wonders.

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