The Footmarks Blog | Footmarks | Page 3
The Footmarks Blog
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a demo must be priceless. …Or at least that was the takeaway from last week’s TechDay, when we exhibited our beacon technology at the all-day tech event.   Explaining Footmarks isn’t easy. For starters there’s the beacon. While we work with the technology –  and with people who work with the technology – every day, beacons have yet to become mainstream. And even seasoned technologists, like those who stopped by our booth on Thursday, had multiple questions about beacons – from the devices themselves, to the iBeacon protocol, to how beacons differ from their proximity-sensing forbearers, like GPS and NFC. Then there were questions about the technology’s application. How could beacons be used in the retail environment? And how could location tracking, push notifications, and analytics – with obvious benefits for the retailer – be desirable, or even relevant, to the...
Read More
In New York City this Easter weekend and looking for fun with beacons? It’s not too late to celebrate the season (and the kid/tech nerd in you) with THE BEST EASTER EGG HUNT EVER. But hurry! The hunt ends April 26th. Lola is currently leading the Footmarks team in eggs cracked (23), but the competition’s a little light, what with Casey in Seattle, and Skylar more interested in trawling Tinder than sporting for eggs. The Big Egg Hunt, sponsored by luxury jewelry company Faberge, and conceived by the The Elephant Family charity and its agency Saatchi & Saatchi (with a beacon assist from Nomi), brings over 260 large Faberge eggs designed by leading artists, designers, and architects to the most tourist-trafficked and picturesque parts of the City (i.e. not by our office). The eggs were designed by the likes of Jeff Koons, Diane von Furstenberg, Ralph Lauren, Curtis Kulig, and Zaha...
Read More
Time really flies when you’re working at a startup. It’s already the second week of April, and it’s hard to believe our SXSW demo was a month ago today. While much has changed since we started at the Accelerator in November, some things – like our passion for the technology, our aspirations for the company, and our core mission – remain the same. Not long after arriving at the Accelerator, Casey, Skylar and Preston sat down with the R/GA Digital Studio Team to talk Footmarks’ origins, their goals for the Accelerator, and the team’s vision for the company’s future. Click here to watch the video interview in its entirety. Or skip through to see the highlights below: Apple’s validation of the market: 07:30. By now the story of the beacons’ stealth emergence is well known: Apple released the iBeacon as an unaddressed footnote at last year’s WWDC keynote. Fast forward a...
Read More
Yesterday we highlighted beacon technology’s transformative potential for the City’s sports venues, professional leagues, and events. New York’s favorite sport, however — the apartment hunt — could also be radically improved by beacons. With the help of a City-wide beacon infrastructure, apartment listings could break free from Craigslist and advertise themselves to passersby on city streets. Beacons could also be deployed indoors by real estate agents and brokers, to highlight timely, location-specific, and personalized content. Prospective home buyers or apartment seekers could be targeted at various stages of the decision cycle with contextual information about anything from community amenities or nearby points of interest, to recommendations for interior decorators or home finishings. Some real estate marketing services are already experimenting with beacon technology. For example, one particular company imagines “For Sale” signs as beacon-enabled smart signs: upon approach, these signs would trigger elevations, floor plans, and agent contact information to prospective buyers with the company’s app on their...
Read More
Beacons also have utility in the realm of city governance. Together with an official NYC app, a City-wide beacon infrastructure, would allow the de Blasio administration to forge new channels of engagement with its constituents, as well as stretch public resources by replacing tasks or functions that previously had to be performed manually. Beacons could provide many opportunities for creating greater efficiencies and transparencies in government. Highly accurate geolocation technology could greatly improve the intelligence and efficacy of the City’s 311 platform, both for users as well as for the Mayor’s Office. Beacon-afforded, location-sensitive messaging could also replace confusing street signs governing parking, street-closures for filming, alerts for street-cleaning, and refuse dumping, just for example. Beacons could also bring greater transparency to those infamous Privately-Owned-Public-Spaces, made famous by Occupy Wall Street, by providing visitors with information about opening hours and rules. Beacon infrastructure could also facilitate the City’s deployment of context-appropriate...
Read More
If we’ve learned anything from Governor Christie’s Bridgegate, it’s that nothing gets people fired up quite like traffic and parking. Although it’s a little late to help the embattled denizens of Fort Lee, beacons could levy numerable improvements for New York’s city drivers. Beacon’s micro-location capabilities could help steer drivers back to their cars in parking lots and garages (a competency for which Apple recently filed a patent), as well as facilitate payments for parking and gas. Many cities in the U.S. and abroad have had success with wide-scale deployment of parking sensors, and NYC has also experimented with small pilot studies in Lower Manhattan and in Brooklyn. Beacons could provide a more cost-effective alternative to embedded sensors, and provide the City the economic and operational efficiencies of smart parking meters and responsive pricing. Beacons also have utility for drivers on the go. A City-wide beacon infrastructure could provide an effective platform to...
Read More
The Bloomberg administration worked hard to make tourism one of the City’s largest and most profitable industries. NYC ended 2012 as the top U.S. tourist destination, with a record 50.5 million visitors, and the highest share of U.S. tourism spending. Many of the city’s cultural venues and tourist attractions enjoyed record attendance last year, but a City-wide beacon infrastructure, and a specially curated assortment of programmed tourist experiences would do much to keep the city a globally coveted destination. Beacons could improve navigation for tourists (particularly outside Manhattan), give visitors insights to attraction wait times and opening hours, highlight some of the City’s lesser known offerings, and set a new stage for contextually-targeted marketing and commerce. Some City hotels are already experimenting with location technology; running pilots to replace room keys with smart phones. Beacons’ utility in hotels and in hospitality needn’t end at the hotel room. Beacons could liberate concierge services from the...
Read More
From famous museums to performing arts meccas, New York City’s cultural venues are an embarrassment of riches. Museums in Europe are already demonstrating how beacons can give new creative leash to exhibit designers and curators, as well as greatly augment the visitor experience. Beacons can provide, for instance, guided tours and interactive learning experiences for children, as well as lend valuable insights to visitor behavior for museum curators. At Rubens House in Antwerp, where beacon technology was implemented earlier this year, the dedicated museum app gives visitors access to x-ray scans of the artwork, interactive trivia questions about the artist, and a GPS system that outlines the building. A permanent beacon infrastructure throughout the five boroughs could have particular resonance for NYC-specific institutions like the Museum of the City of the New York, which would no longer be restricted by museum walls. Exhibits celebrating the City’s history and heritage could be extended...
Read More
If there’s anything New Yorkers practice as competitively as the apartment hunt, it’s the sport of restaurant reservations. Beacons could help here too; providing aspiring diners with menus and daily specials as they approach, as well as reservation openings and wait times, and the ability to pay for their meal once they’re done. Beacons also hold promise for restaurateurs. With POS integration, the technology can also provide new insight to visitor frequency and customers’ order histories, and help restaurants better allocate resources and staff. For City eateries already offering — or soon to offer — in-app preordering for in store pickup, beacons are a logical next step. A handful of restaurants in the city are already experimenting with beacons and mobile payments. These downtown hotspots are driving hungry New Yorkers to their venues through location-based offers, and guaranteed easy payment through self-checkout and digital tabs. (Whether this location-based technology will actually shorten your wait time at Starbucks however,...
Read More
Beacons have already proven their ability to enhance the fan experience on game day. Last year, the MLB validated the technology at a handful of ballparks around the country, giving app users access to fan trivia, videos, automatic check-in, store coupons, and more. This year, the NFL followed the MLB’s lead, and installed wireless transmitters throughout New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium for the Super Bowl, as well as around Times Square. NFL mobile app users received tailored, contextually-sensitive news broadcasts and discounts in the days leading up to the Game. Not to be outdone, the MLB announced a 20 stadium-wide rollout of beacon technology to begin this spring. Beacons will be deployed again at the Met’s Citi Field, where the technology debuted last year. According to the app’s iTunes description, the At the Ballpark app “perfectly complements and personalizes your trip with mobile check-in, social media, offers, rewards, and exclusive content. Select MLB ballparks also offer mobile food...
Read More