Focus Beacon Application


ChadCo. Studio worked with Focus on the Family to research and outline business applications for Bluetooth BLE beacons. The supporting materials outline a summary of what beacons are, how they work, how they are being used to help meet both user and business objectives, and an attempt to explore what a beacon application might look like in context.

What Are Beacons?

Beacons are a low-cost piece of hardware — small enough to attach to a wall or countertop — that use battery-friendly, low-energy Bluetooth connections to transmit messages or prompts directly to a smartphone or tablet.

How Do Beacons Work?

Beacons use a more sophisticated version of Bluetooth, called Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), a wireless personal area network technology used for transmitting data over short distances. When a phone comes within range of that signal emitted by a beacon, the app can trigger a push notification, an event, or a call to action.

Beacons Need 3 Basic Things In Order To Work Properly:

    • Location. Location. Location. – Once you have a beacon, it just needs to a physical location in which to be stuck.
    • Source of Application – Beacons need a native smart phone app that is coded specifically for a phone’s OS.
    • Turn It On! – Bluetooth capabilities on the mobile device need to be switched on.

What Are The Benefits Of BLE?

    • Low Energy
    • Low Cost
    • Simple Application


    1. Event Navigation – Help attendees find the check-in table or other areas of interest when they arrive or alert attendees to panel discussions and speaker information so they know when and where different events are taking place. Help attendees know when they are close to these events and what time the events will start.
    2. Attendance – It’s always good to see who shows up to your events, but sometimes attendees are late and miss check-in, or they leave early. Beacon technology will allow you to measure who actually shows up and how long they stay. Perhaps everyone left before the final event or just after lunch. This can help you plan better, more engaging events.
    3. Connecting with Users – Send electronic surveys after an event then ask them to sign up for email newsletters. Or suggest they follow you/your speakers on social media while they’re already thinking about your organization.
    4. Special Offers – Offer discounts on future events, products or services to reward attendees. Send a notification with a coupon or deal specific to users notified using the beacon app.
    5. Proximity Fundraising – Nonprofits can set up proximity marketing to alert passersby about the organization and current programs. For example, if someone walks by a food pantry, the organization can send out an alert with a statistic about the lack of access to nutritional food in the neighborhood and prompt for a donation.
    6. Corporate Partnerships – Companies like Macy’s or CVS Health often partner with charitable organizations and ask their shoppers to support the cause. With beacon technology, organizations can push “the ask” directly to the shoppers’ phones while they waiting in line or picking up their items.

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