Explore the Future of the Web

The Business of Beacons

Kevin Hoyt

Built on BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) beacons get a lot of press, and have seen increasing deployment around the globe, adding value to business and consumers. In this session, join IBM Developer Advocate, Kevin Hoyt, on a journey through beacon opportunities you may not have considered. Practical, real-world, references will be highlighted as we examine innovative use-cases for beacons in your business.

Examples Covered

Table Service

Leveraging inexpensive beacons at every table, restaurants might allow customers to order food and pay their bills using the smartphone they bring with them. This in turn increases customer satisfaction, as well as the number of customers that can be served in any given amount of time.


Ever have problems finding an item in a grocery store?  What if beacons automatically transformed your shopping list into the most efficient route through the aisles? What if you only had to take one trip to the hardware store for your next home improvement project? Beacons can provide real-time location support for indoor settings.


While English is easily the most common language encountered in the United States, did you know that there are also nearly three-million people that speak Chinese? Tagalog, French, German, Korean, and Vietnamese account for another six-million. Supporting those languages on signage is a nearly impossible UX task.  Beacons can provide location-aware translation of subway maps, zoos, museums, historical landmarks and more.

Venue Analytics

A growing number of brick-and-mortar retail stores are leveraging A/B testing to optimize the layout of their products. Beacons can add a wealth of information as they track customer movement through the store itself. They could also then highlight relevant items for consumers, and even integrate access to off-site product.

You just finished a long day of travel, and arrive at your hotel only to wait in yet another line. Beacons can enable you to bypass that line altogether, and go straight to your room.  They could be further integrated with hotel services such as valet parking and concierge services, optimizing the time usage of not only the staff, but improve the overall customer experience.

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