iBeacons are not mini lighthouses, but they can guide you in the same way. Using Bluetooth low energy (BLE) determines precise position and can pinpoint locations. Myriad Mobile is leading the way with iBeacon implementation through multiple solutions at national retailers. But beyond the obvious, how else could we use iBeacons? Today we’re taking a deeper dive into how to use iBeacons on college and university campuses. From classroom management to athletic events, iBeacon use is only limited by imagination.
Because any iDevice can become a beacon itself, a professor’s iPad can serve as the base beacon that could track students entering the classroom. As students enter, the beacon could even trigger sending an email with the day’s presentation/handouts/etc.
Raising your hand is so 2000-and-late. In addition, dealing with a classroom full of students can get tiring. A custom app for students to request help could create a queue that professors could use to help individual students.
Some students are more outgoing than others. Using iBeacons for in-class polling could eliminate barriers to class participation. In large lecture halls professors could poll students on a regular basis getting real time feedback and assessing absorption of content and theories.
Leading a health initiative on campus? Gamify the weight room or health center by integrating iBeacons that trigger a point or unlock a gift everytime students check in.
Disability Access Services (DAS)
iBeacons can be utilized across campus to educate and inform people about campus accessibility for people with disabilities. Benefits may include features such as building entrance locations, classrooms, and faculty offices. iBeacons can transmit contextual references to users via text or audio as guides and add to wayfinding in cases where Braille or directional signage may be lacking.
From cafeterias to snack stands to concessions, institutions could virtually eliminate the need for credit cards and cash through utilization of iBeacons. Custom development allows for the creation of entire backends that could integrate with already existing systems that input money onto student IDs. Much in the same way students today use their student IDs to make purchases, we could eliminate the need to carry another piece of plastic. Everything could be stored on our phones.
Avoid the dining center lines
Coming within range of an iBeacon at a dining center determines where students are located. Why does this matter? Because iBeacons could determine where the longest lines are and help redirect students to shorter lines. This creates happy students, happy dining center staff, and ultimately a happy campus.
We’ll never completely replace student ambassadors who provide tours for potential applicants. (Nor should we.) But imagine how great would it be if student ambassadors were armed with iPads to create multisensory experiences for potential students? iBeacons could trigger videos/talking points/additional photos as they come within range of buildings, art installations, or campus attractions. Using iBeacons could also help admissions offices streamline and identify areas of improvement for the campus tour. This could lead to a better tour experience and, ultimately, more engaged applicants.
Placing iBeacons in or around your bookstore could trigger notifications for sales or special events. Come within range and the iBeacon could trigger a notification letting you know the current wait time for the book buy-back line.
These ideas just scratch the surface of iBeacons and Bluetooth low energy solutions. There are endless possibilities to bridging and enhancing digital physical experiences. Let’s get started on your project and bring your ideas to life.
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