An increasing number of Korean companies are involved in Beacon business, which is considered to be one of the services of the Internet of Things (IoT). A Beacon is a wireless sensor using Bluetooth technology. When Beacon transmitters are installed in specific places like stores or concert halls, Beacon can detect signals from mobile devices that support Bluetooth. By doing so, information about products or services is automatically offered to people through a related app installed on the device. It is a contactless method, and therefore it is cited as a method that can replace Near Field Communication (NFC), which can only be utilized by directly tagging objects.
According to industry sources on Nov. 3, local companies are accelerating the launch of a new offensive to dominate the Beacon market. Foreign firms such as PayPal and Apple are major players, but a growing number of local companies have officially announced that they will enter the market. Since it is possible to link Beacon with marketing activities in real time, retailers are paying a lot of attention to it.
For example, SK Telecom entered the market in May of this year, and SK Planet, a subsidiary of SK Telecom, linked its Beacon service with mobile shopping service Syrup last June.
Aside from SK Telecom, the local Beacon service is led by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). As it takes an enormous amount of money to build and distribute the service, these SMEs are cooperating with other companies. Connected8 is working on its Beacon service Unicon in collaboration with BC Card.
An official at Connected8 said, “Unlike other Beacon services, Unicon can be connected with other companies' Beacon services.” The official added, “Our Beacon service can deliver information by sharing other beacon networks.”
Ekay Works is moving forward with a plan to provide offline network service StayHi in partnership with Daou Data. StayHi is a location-based service using its own active detecting system, which additionally provides security and personal features. Users of the service can get product information like playing a game, since the service is connected to social networking services.