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ALL-TAG releases RFID-Ink tag ••• Redpoint Positioning integrates RTLS with Autodesk's BIM applications ••• Bluvision, Airside Mobile Turn On Android's Nearby Notifications feature at airports ••• MicroStrategy leverages Bluetooth beacons for real-time user behavior analytics ••• T.A.P. Tag Technologies NFC-enables RealTimeRental's new mobile app.
By Beth Bacheldor

Bluvision, Airside Mobile Turn On Android's Nearby Notifications Feature at Airports

Bluvision, a provider of sensor beacons and real-time location systems (RTLS) using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, has announced that it has partnered with Airside Mobile, the provider of the Mobile Passport app, which enables travelers to bypass airport customs lines, on an implementation of the recently launched Nearby Notifications feature. According to Bluvision, Nearby Notifications provides contextual app and website experiences related to the things in the vicinity of someone using an Android-based smartphone or other tablet.

The Mobile Passport app
Bluvision's BEEKS BLE beacons are designed for large deployments and long-term enterprises that use and incorporate multiple real-time sensors, including temperature, light and motion. Bluvision's sensor beacons were recently deployed near the departure and arrival areas at several international airports, including those in San Francisco, Newark, N.J., and San Jose, Calif., as well as at New York City's John F. Kennedy International airport. The beacons were configured to broadcast the Eddystone UID signal (Eddystone is an open format from Google that enables BLE beacons to communicate with users' devices), according to Bluvision, so when a passenger comes in close proximity to one of the beacons, that individual receives a notification on his or her Android phone to download the Mobile Passport app.

The new Nearby Notifications experience provides a mechanism for the Eddystone UID broadcast to take a user directly to the Mobile Passport app at the Google Play website, Bluvision explains, greatly simplifying the user's experience by giving that person the app he or she needs, at the location where it may be the most useful. With the Nearby Notifications feature, Android smartphone users need not search for an app in the Google Play Store; instead, they can simply accept the Nearby Notifications offer to download the app, if they choose to do so. Nearby Notifications can also be configured to direct users to a web URL using the Eddystone URL feature.

According to Subhashree Sukhu, Bluvision's marketing manager, her company worked with air transport IT company SITA and Airside Mobile in late April and early May to deploy the beacons at the airports. There are anywhere from 20 to 1,000 beacons deployed at each airport, she reports, depending on the business case requirement. "It depends on the business or operational challenge our beacons are being used to solve," Sukhu states. "Apart from the Nearby Notifications, our beacons are currently being used for recording and tracking in real-time telemetry data like HVAC monitoring, smart building technologies, etc., and being used for RTLS-related wayfinding solutions at the airports."

Bluvision expects to roll out the solution at another three major international airports within the next 30 days. Sukhu, however, says her company is not yet at liberty to name which airports.

Bluvision supports Nearby Notifications integration with Eddystone UIDs. Eddystone UID allows app creators to use the unique hexadecimal code that is created when an app is published on the Google Play Store, in the beacon's Eddystone UID broadcast, Bluvision explains. Android devices (running 5.0 or later with Google Play Services 9.2+) receive the Eddystone broadcast, which offers a direct link to the app. Bluvision beacons running Eddystone UID create simple yet powerful means to allow users access to the applications where and when they need them the most, the company says.

According to Bluvision, it has been working with Google throughout the Eddystone development process, providing hardware, testing tools and BLE expertise. Eddystone starter kits can be purchased at Bluvision's online store.

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