Ever since Bluetooth has announced that it is working on the low-energy version 5 of its technology, the beacons have begun to enter the media and increasingly “disturb” the peace of the mobile world. Large brands and small retailers began experimenting with this technology and placing beacons at their sites in order to make their product more visible. Although using beacons has proven to be a good marketing tool, we at Lighthouse decided we want to provide a different end-user experience by creating a travel app that is, first beneficial to city residents and visitors, and Only after that, maybe try to connect the business with the user.
Location is an important indicator of the context, but it is not exactly the same as proximity. It is important to understand the difference.
For example, the fact that you are in a certain location means, that our interest has led us there for many reasons. But there is a big difference in how likely you are to be interested in a specific subject based on whether you are “near” or right next to it. Let’s say you walk in the park and see a nice flower. Depending on whether you just notice it from a distance, or go to it to look at it more closely, tells a lot about your level of interest and how much you want to know about it, another is whether you want to smell it, that already depends on the flower itself. Using the beacons as a helper in tourism, we can create contextual information and send it to the tourist or city resident. This means that you as a user no longer need to plan where you are after 4 hours from the beginning of your day, just walking around to discover what is interesting around you, without unnecessary effort, such as opening a map or scan QR codes, just go and the information arrives in your phone. The Beacon will point you to the nearby object, whether it is to your liking (the object) or not , entirely depend on your preference and on the physical presentation of the object itself. For people who like to plan, our app also offers navigation to sites, even if you are miles away.
For many years, people thought the NFC and QR code was the answer to digitization in tourism, but both options proved to have too many flaws, as shown in the chart below, the beacon technology beat them in all paragraphs:
Bluetooth LE in the form of Beacons will be the technology that will finally unlock the potential energy of proximity-based services and interactions originally set out by Apple and then followed by Google. We at Lighthouse, however, think that there is no bad approach or wrong technology for digitization of Bulgarian tourism. The more, the better!
Bulgaria needs every technology, in order to stand out in the ever more competitive and fast-growing world tourism.
Whatever your own travel views, the tools are available and they are all there to help you navigate in the new city, save time and get the most out of your short stay . Whether you choose to live in the 20th Century and ask random people on the street where the cathedral is located in Varna and they will take you to take you at least 3 kilometers from it, or install the Lighthouse app on your phone and quickly and easily navigate to the most interesting places, depends entirely on you. There is no wrong approach, and in the end there is always the sweet feeling that you have experienced something different, something unforgettable, in one word, you have lived! This is our motto “Live” because there is no time for the other option! 🙂