If you thought beacon technology was limited to Apple’s iBeacon, think again. Samsung has its own beacon system called Samsung Proximity which as you can already guess, is a marketing platform designed to connect retailers with nearby consumers.
As Engadget explains, its operation is pretty simple. Say you are in a retail store like Macy’s. If the store has their beacon system installed and activated, the store could beam information to your phone about what is on sale, clothes that would match each other well and so on.
Samsung Proximity is based on Bluetooth Low Energy beacons and appears to work with a number of third-party beacon providers including GigaLane, Radius Networks, Roximity and Swirl.
There is, however, one major difference between Apple’s iBeacon and Samsung’s Proximity. While iBeacon functions through app store software, Proximity works on a system level. This gives it the potential for deeper integration and could mean that you still may receive in-store notifications even without a specific app installed.
Samsung is now accepting partners to sign up for its Proximity Partnership Program. Interested parties simply need to sign up and Samsung will provide the full end-to-end solution.
It certainly sounds like Apple and Samsung are destined to clash once again, this time in the beacon space. And given Samsung’s deeper integration, the company could also be aligning itself for a mobile wallet play and a collision with Apple Pay.