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Spreo Beacons the Way at Mall, Hospital

A Florida shopping mall and an Israeli medical center are both employing the company's beacon solution to help people navigate their way.
By Claire Swedberg
Jan 20, 2015

Taubman Centers, a builder and operator of high-end U.S. regional malls, and Clalit Health Services, an Israeli hospital operator, have each rolled out a new Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon solution provided by indoor navigation technology startup Spreo. The solution offers users with an easy way to not only locate stores or departments of interest, based on their current location, but also to schedule their day, using the app to be directed from one location to the next. The system was taken live for shoppers with the opening of Taubman's Mall at University Town Center (UTC), located in Sarasota, Fla., in December 2014, and for patients, visitors and personnel at Clalit's Carmel Medical Center, in Israel.

Spreo, named after the starling known for its innate navigational skills, was launched two years ago in New York City and Israel. Clalit approached Lior Meller, Spreo's CTO and one of the company's two co-founders, in Israel, looking to develop a solution to help people map their way throughout its large hospital. As a result, Meller and his partner (both of whom came from wireless technology backgrounds) founded Spreo, and began researching and developing an indoor navigation system that was initially based on Wi-Fi but then shifted to beacon technology. "Wi-Fi works and is effective for Android phones," says Brett Reisman, Spreo's marketing and business development director. "But beacon is so ubiquitous."

Taubman Centers' Mall at UTC mobile app
The solution Spreo developed consists of beacons manufactured by third-party vendors that transmit data to BLE-enabled smartphones, as well as Administrative Dashboard and Content Manager, Spreo's back-end software that identifies locations, provides beacon fleet management and map displays, and shares that information with an app running on a user's smartphone. Spreo also offers a software development kit (SDK) that its customers can use to develop beacon-enabled apps for smartphones and tablets.

The UTC mall, Taubman's latest shopping location, is designed to be both upscale and cutting-edge, appealing to consumers very accustomed to using their mobile phones to aid them in their shopping. Eighteen months before the mall opened, Taubman Centers began developing its own Mall at UTC mobile app to help make shoppers' experience more efficient and fun.


Devika Girish 2015-01-23 12:27:57 AM
Great Post Claire. Beacons are certainly redefining customer engagement at malls by creating futuristic shopping experiences that appeal to a major chunk of consumers who agree that mobile is one of the key media to impact their purchasing decisions. Though navigation and proximity marketing are two of the most popular use cases of beacons, there is more to them. For example, you can use it as a great feedback tool by allowing consumers to digitally upvote or downvote experiences at the mall. You can also use it to gamify shopping using scavenger hunts, thus ensuring that your consumers explore those parts of the mall that they are yet to pay a visit to. We’ve compiled a checklist on 5 other ways malls can use beacons to offer compelling shopping experiences here: http://blog.beaconstac.com/how-beacons-can-help-malls-offer-compelling-shopping-experiences/

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