As you walk into a store, a cookie-shaped tracking beacon notes that you just entered. A connected phone app, then welcomes you and suggests current special offers with a map of the store’s layout and product coupons – all made possible by RECO Beacon.
Founded in April 2012, Korean-based IT company Perples has developed RECO Beacon, a device using Bluetooth to interact with supported hardware. RECO Beacon is a certified iBeacon, a small wireless device that allows proximity sensing, enabling store owners to communicate with customers based on their geographic location within the store.
While beacons changed the way people shop by sending information to customers instantly via Bluetooth, store owners still had to manage each beacon individually. To solve this problem, Perples recently introduced the next generation of beacons through its latest product the RECO Manager, which functions as a mother beacon communicating with all the others and allowing easy customization. The RECO Manager syncs the settings of all beacons and checks battery levels at regular intervals using RECO Cloud Console.
“While many of our competitors focus more on personalized beacons, we focus more on expanding in the business side. That is why we have developed the RECO Manager to help businesses easily mass-manage beacons,” Perples CSO Byung-Hoon Chung said.
Perples has built major partnerships with Dunkin Donuts, Daum Communications, GS Retail, and Hyundai department store in Korea. The company suggested the “Morning start-up” promotion for Dunkin Donuts Korea, deploying its SoundTAG signal in 900 Dunkin Donuts stores nationwide. The promotion went viral among busy Koreans who normally skip breakfast, encouraging them to have donuts as they start their day.
The co-founders of Perples first developed SoundTAG (an ultrasonic technology), which operates Android and iOS using an inaudible frequency bandwidth of 18-20kHz with only 2-3% battery drainage. During the development process of the software, they also came up with hardware that met the requirements of the Bluetooth-based O2O (Online to Offline) platform set by Apple at WWDC 2013 – and this was the moment when RECO was born.
Released last year May, RECO covers distances from 30cm all the way up to 50 meters. The penetration rate of Bluetooth 4.0 in Korea increased by 27% to 43% last year, aiding RECO’s sales. On January 29th, pre-orders for RECO Manager will begin at US$79 with POE(Power over Ethernet) module, available at US$10, and a complementary RECO Beacon, sold separately at US$19. The official launch and shipments of RECO Manager are due in the second quarter of 2015. The company expects that RECO Beacon will make businesses engage with O2O services. Supported by a Korean government agency, Born2Global, the team is travelling to LA in early February to meet with US investors.
Image Credit: Perples
Editing by Mike Cormack (@bucketoftongues)