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Bluetooth beacons point to the future of shopping

Industries

IMAGINE walking into a clothing store for the first time and having the staff greet you by name.

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Now imagine them sitting you down and parading a list of items they know you are interested in; everything you see before you is in your size, your favourite colours, and some of them are even on sale.

South Australian company Kinesity, formerly Kenesis, is using Bluetooth beacons to revolutionise the retail shopping experience by making personalised service available to all users.

Kinesity co-CEO Michael Jones said the technology has multiple applications to transform how people lived.

“In essence we have Bluetooth beacons sit inside stores that send out a unique ID that our system recognises,” Jones said.

“If you have our app, it will recognise that you are nearby and we can know where you are and can send you information about that particular store.

“If I walk past a shoe store, it won’t just tell me about the 30 per cent sale on runners, it can go one better. When I go into the store the staff will know my name, colour preference, shoe size, and have a pair ready for me to try on.”

Jones said the company’s technology was already in use in more than 100 Australian shopping centres and retail precincts in New Zealand, Indonesia, and the United Kingdom.

Supermarkets are also using the technology to alert customers to specials and help them create meal plans.

However, Jones said it was difficult to convince manufacturers to back the concept in the beginning.“They didn’t understand why we would use it that way because that was not what Bluetooth was originally designed for,” he said.

Jones and co-CEO Paul Coldrey responded by creating their own beacons at Kinesity’s sister company Daelibs.

Working in the field of ambient intelligence, the two entrepreneurs used the technology to help increase the efficiency of the mining industry.

“Ambient intelligence is software that operates in the context of your physical location and is all about giving contextual information to the end user,” Jones said.

“In the mining sector you need to know where people are. We log when they get there, and when they leave we make sure that everyone who arrived on site is leaving.”

Jones said Bluetooth devices would play a leading role in transforming how people lived their daily lives as society became increasingly dependent on technology.

“All of the futurists are looking at ambient intelligence technology as the first step in the Internet of Things,” he said.

“More places and things will be tagged and will be able to communicate with each other.

“One day we will have robots doing household chores. We won’t be taking out the garbage or doing the dishes, they will be doing it for us.”

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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