Wistiki Bluetooth Tracker CEO: “We Raised €1M in Crowdfunding“

France-based Wistiki, a startup manufacturing Bluetooth trackers, has launched today their latest product called Wistiki by Starck.

As the name implies the small tracker has been designed by famous French designer Philippe Starck. The premium Bluetooth tracker (€49.90) is made of satin-finish steel with a colored plastic end cap that houses the Bluetooth antenna.

The Bluetooth chipset is coming from Dialog semiconductor and the range claimed by the company is 100 meters (in open space) while the battery (not removable) is made for three years use.

The tracker started to sell today in France – with 100,000 units shipping to retailers – and is expected to reach international markets: U.S., UK, Germany and Japan in the coming months.

In the audio podcast below GPS Business News interviewed with Wistiki CEO Bruno Lussato.

European GNSS Agency & InLocation Alliance Sponsor Geo IoT World Awards

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) and the InLocation Alliance have joined the Geo IoT World Awards as sponsors.

The awards ceremony will take place on May 25, 2016 at Geo IoT World in Brussels in front of an audience of more than 200 LBS industry decision makers.

The GSA, which manages Europe’s GNSS programmes (EGNOS and Galileo), is sponsoring one of the fourth awards: IoT Solutions empowered by GNSS.

The GSA is looking for the most innovative IoT applications that rely on GNSS and leverage the enhanced possibilities offered by Galileo across multiple verticals: automotive sector, consumer electronics, smart cities, public transport, manufacturing, supply chain logistics, retail, leisure or healthcare.

The InLocation Alliance is sponsoring the “Indoor Location & Proximity Services“ award.

The InLocation Alliance (ILA) was founded by the mobile industry to accelerate the adoption of indoor position solutions that will enhance the mobile experience by opening up new opportunities for consumers and venue owners.

Two other awards are covering innovation in “Location Intelligence“ and “IoT Networks“.

The award deadline is on May 15th to submit your innovation.

Full details and entry submission: www.geoiotworld.com/awards

BlooLoc, Eliko, HERE, indoo.rs, Nextome & SenionLab Join Indoor Location Testbed

BlooLoc, Eliko, HERE, indoo.rs, Nextome and SenionLab are the first companies registered to the Indoor Location Testbed to be held during Geo IoT World on May 25-26, 2016 in Brussels.

The Geo IoT World Indoor Location Testbed is a unique, real life test of commercial indoor location positioning technologies.

For the first time multiple indoor location technologies will be enabled in a same location and potential prospects will be able to experience a diverse set technologies with or without infrastructure, pure software with smartphone sensors or a combination of software and dedicated hardware.

The results of the Testbed will be released in a report published by Grizzly Analytics, a research firm dedicated to indoor location technologies.

Learn more here:

http://www.geoiotworld.com/testbed

Google Takes Over Beacon Industry Adding Security to Eddystone

iBeacon was initially introduced by Apple in September 2013. The technology uses low cost (starts at $5) and low power Bluetooth Smart devices that broadcast data to smartphones to trigger actions in a mobile application.

The system was initially used for retail but has evolved into much more than that (entertainment, transport, etc.), to the point where market research firm ABI Research forecasts shipments in excess of 400 million by 2020. A whole industry was born from the beacon idea with hundreds of hardware and software company focussing on the technology and related application fields.

In 2015 Google replied to Apple with a similar beacon standard called Eddystone. Eddystone was already more sophisticated than iBeacon, offering the opportunity to trigger a mobile browser instead of an app and to broadcast a data packet with richer functionalities such as the transport of additional sensor information.

Security problem

By design, the Apple iBeacon advertisement frame is plainly visible, which can be a problem. First it can be replicated which open ways to spoofing. Second because it can be used by competing third parties. A retailer you could potentially trigger its own app when it is nearby a beacon in the shop of one of its competitors.

Encrypted beacon data

To secure beacons, Google last week introduced Ephemeral IDs (EID), a beacon frame in the Eddystone format that gives developers more power to control who can make use of the beacon signal.

Eddystone-EID enables a new set of use cases where it is important for users to be able to exchange information securely and privately. Since the beacon frame changes periodically, the signal is only useful to clients with access to a resolution service that maps the beacon’s current identifier to stable data. In other words, the signal is only recognizable to a controlled set of users.

Eddystone-EID works with Android but also with iOS.

When Google takes the lead

When launched last year Eddystone had been immediately embraced by a number of hardware beacon vendors.

Now EID is supported at launch by more than 15 companies, including some of the most well know beacon vendors: Gimbal, Estimote, Radius Networks, Sensoro to name just these.

In addition to beacon manufacturers, Google has been working with a range of innovative companies to demonstrate Eddystone-EID in a variety of different scenarios.

As an example, the leading luggage brand Samsonite and Spanish beacon manufacturer Accent Systems are developing a suitcase with Eddystone-EID where users can securely keep track of their personal luggage.

Continued…

Bluvision Ranked Top BLE Beacon Vendor by ABI Research

ABI Research, has ranked Florida-based Bluvision as the leader among 24 BLE beacon vendors considered in its latest competitive analysis.

“Bluvision’s strong market share, technology innovation, and willingness to aggressively move into new emerging markets places it in a very strong position for the future,“ the research firm said. The top five companies include Bluvision, Gimbal, Kontakt.io, Estimote, and Radius Networks.

"Bluvision underwent a significant shift in the past 12 months, redesigning its hardware and platform to focus on asset tracking and non-retail markets," explained Patrick Connolly, Principal Analyst at ABI Research.

"It was a brave decision to transition so decisively to non-retail, but it looks to be the right one given the company’s hardware capabilities. Over the next five years, the emerging markets of asset tracking, vending machines, industrial, enterprise, and IoT will drive the company’s high-volume shipments. Bluvision is well-placed to remain the leading market share vendor."

Beyond the top five companies, ABI Research also points out to a huge amount of market activity and financial investment. “European companies Beaconinside, Onyx, and Quuppa are all rapidly innovating.

Additionally, while Sensoro did not receive a spot in the top 5, it looks to be best positioned for the biggest YoY growth in 2016. SK Telecom/Shopkick is another vendor that appears set for international expansion.“

"We see the big Wi-Fi access point vendors like Zebra, Cisco, and Aruba all starting to play a significant role," concluded Connolly.

"Companies like Blesh, Unacast, Sensorberg, and Spark Compass are building impressive vendor-agnostic platforms."

Indoor Solar-Powered Beacons, the Way of the Future?

“Battery-life is one of the biggest challenges for the Beacon industry growth due to the high servicing costs. Each time a beacon requires a replacement battery there is an associated service cost, and that adds to the total cost of ownership,” said Barry Jenkins from UK-based GCell, a new maker of Bluetooth beacons for proximity marketing.

The company just announced their entry into the iBeacon hardware market with the G100 Indoor Solar Beacon. This energy harvesting iBeacon offers a renewable energy supply and a 100-millisecond advertising rate as default.

Price of the GCell G100 starts at £33 GBP at low volumes and the company offers discounts for large volumes.

SenionLab, MySeat & SystemicsCode Partner with Micello for Indoor Maps

Micello, the worldwide provider of indoor maps has announced three new partnerships in the last few weeks.

Indoor location technology vendor SenionLab, workspace management startup MySeat and private ad-exchange and analytics platform SystemicsCode have integrated indoor maps from Micello into their platform.

MySeat

MySeat offers technology solutions for workspace management. The company has designed innovative sensors that can be attached unobtrusively to the office chairs. The sensors feed real-time utilization and other ambient data to a portal where it is meshed up with the interactive maps provided by Micello, to create visual analytics and other space utilization information. MySeat’s statistical dashboard allows the workspace planners to measure and optimize space utilization and also understand how their indoor environment is being used over time.

SystemicsCode

SystemicsCode, a provider of private Ad-Exchange and Analytics Platform,is using the maps to provide hyper local context and location based advertising services for venue owners.

Under this partnership, Micello maps are integrated into the AdMoln platform which offers advertisers and publishers a combination of analytics, forecasting, workflow, targeting, and ad campaign optimization tools.

SenionLab

Sweden-based SenionLab is providing indoor location technology. Their StepInside platform is a customizable, cloud-based tool offering a variety of service plug-ins:

– StepInside Analytics provides in-depth analysis and statistical insights about crowded areas or visitor flow in a venue.

– StepInside Beacon Management manages and monitors overall network and individual beacons.

– StepInside Wayfinder, enables the users to interact with points of interest within a venue.

– StepInside GeoMessenger lets users to interact with a venue based on their current location.

All the four plug-ins are now integrated with and leverage Micello’s indoor maps.

“This unique integration of Micello maps into our platform offers a smart roadmap for businesses to excel in providing location-based services to their customers as well as in obtaining a real-time analytics and statistical data for enhancing the customer experience,â€? said Christian Lundquist, Co-founder & CEO of SenionLab.

Talking Wearables and Location-Based Advertising with Skyhook Wireless (Podcast)

Worldwide Wi-Fi location vendor Skyhook Wireless recently announced a partnership with Narrative, the maker of the smallest wearable camera to enable geotagging of pictures on the newly launched Narrative 2 device.

This partnership is the first milestone of Skyhook’s expansion plan towards the wearable market.

David Bairstow, Vice President of Product at Skyhook was on the stage in London this week at the Wearable Technology Show to detail their new product offering in this area.

GPS Business News catch up with him at the event in the podcast below:

Unacast: Aggregating Offline Consumer Behavioral Data from Beacons (Podcast)

The mobile advertising industry is relying more and more on location data, however these are often inaccurate and unavailable indoor. This is where proximity data from beacons kicks in to offer consumer behavior down to a precise aisle, shelf or product.

But Beacon data has been difficult to scale for advertising due to the fragmentation of the beacon and proximity industries.

Based out of Norway with a sales office in New York City, Unacast goal is to solve this challenge by creating the largest network of proximity companies in the world, to collect beacon data in the Unacast PROX Network, which aggregates, standardizes and tags the data to build targeting profiles on millions of users.

On the supply side Unacast has partnered with more than 40 of the world’s largest proximity providers (representing 1 million installed beacons thus far) and on the demand side with leading mobile advertising platforms, such as Opera Mediaworks, a partnership recently announced.

Listen below to the podcast with Kjartan Slette, co-founder and COO of the company:

IndoorAtlas Signs Up Yahoo Japan (Podcast with CEO)

Geomagnetic indoor positioning vendor IndoorAtlas announced this week an agreement with Yahoo! Japan to deliver indoor positioning services within venues across Japan.

Yahoo! Japan is the leading internet portal in Japan and generates 63 billion page views per month. IndoorAtlas’ technology has the potential to reach a significant percentage of the 38 million inhabitants in the greater Tokyo metropolitan area alone.

By utilizing the magnetic sensor within a smartphone, IndoorAtlas’ software is able to detect anomalies in the Earth’s magnetic field to accurately pinpoint and track a person’s location indoors.

Janne Haverinen, the CEO of the company based out of Finland spoke to GPS Business News at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

Listen to the podcast below: