Event Recap: IoT Meetup #12 Was All About Beacons

At Monday’s Internet of Things Meetup #12 at the Cardozo Law School, it was All About Beacons. (That was the title of the event, seriously!) The buzzy Bluetooth LTE technology has been making waves in the ad tech space and in the media. Like all cool new tech, beacons inspire heated rhetoric: are they the holy grail of advertising, or just the latest fad? Do they spell the end of privacy for consumers, or is it usual media alarmism?

The IoT meetup tried to settle the hype. Beacons are, as Sharat Potharaju of MobStac explained, “simply a transmitter with a Bluetooth LTE protocol.” The idea behind beacons is by partnering with an app, one can detect location within 40 feet and implement “hyperlocal” communication. NewAer’s Dave Mathews (of CueCat and Slingbox infamy) was a second speaker. His platform, which he likens to an IFTTT for the real world, is a flexible deployment of beacons that can communicate with any device, and thus an app’s API.

That’s a big deal in the spaces like retail — step into a storefront, know your customers. But it has implication for everything from museums to hotels, and that’s why the Cardozo room was packed with developers, journalists, marketers and just plain tech geeks, just trying to understand why Bluetooth was suddenly hot again.