One Step at a Time – iBeacon in Restaurants
The newest technology introduced by Apple Inc. called the iBeacon, is the new center of attraction for developers around the world especially in the United States.
Apple Inc. describes iBeacon as “a new class of low-powered, low-cost transmitters that can notify nearby iOS 7 devices of their presence.” This technology utilizes the Bluetooth installed in each Apple products and communicates with them directly.
The main function of iBeacon is to expand the technological capabilities of the retail industry. Point of sales (POS), product announcements, and product discounts are just some of the services iBeacon could offer.
iBeacon has been integrated into different establishments and businesses such as hospitals, universities, and hotels. Some restaurants have also integrated iBeacon into their system, hoping it would increase their sales and attract the attention of potential customers.
A concept was launched by two-man hack team Ray Ho and Mark Watson at the 2014 Tech Crunch Disrupt SF hackatahon, which is integrated into the restaurant’s software Clover and will improve the experience of customers waiting on tables.
Ray Ho and Mark Watson embedded iBeacons into every table in the restaurant so that they can monitor the activity of each customer in the table such as ordering food. The problem of constantly checking the customers for their orders will decrease and staffs such as waiters will have more time for other things such as cleaning tables.
Customers will have the option of knowing the available tables via the SmartTable application, before coming to the restaurant. How convenient it may seems, this does not demote human interaction as customers can still order through the cashier, knowing that their order is being processed.
Another advantage of iBeacons in restaurants is that customers can check their bills at any point before paying. They can check how many appetizers they have eaten and how much all those appetizers cost. Now that’s a convenient thing to have especially for those with awkward social skills.
In Germany, a restaurant has produced another innovative way using iBeacons which track the dining habits of their customers. Christian Mook, owner of the Mook Group that has five restaurants, utilizes iBeacon to record his customers’ habits such their favorite food to order up to their favorite table to occupy.
Customers need to download their application to avail the technology. Not only does this setup benefits the Mook Group, customers will earn rewards by using the application, by ordering foods in any of their restaurants, or just by hanging out in one of their restaurants. Customers will also earn points that can be used for special services and trade for rewards.
This move by the Mook Group was devised to improve quality service for the customers.
iBeacon has been the stepping stone of developers to improve the quality of life and improve the technological experience of many businesses and establishments. Since its release, it has gained popularity and the amount of work invested by different people to reveal all of its potential is massive. It just been a year since the release of iBeacon but the way iBeacon changed the experience of many people is forever treasured.