Posts on Jan 2015

Proximity vs. Presence

Proximity: nearness in space, time, or relationship.

Presence: the state or fact of existing, occurring, or being present in a place or thing.

The recent emergence of beacon technology (iBeacon, BLE, Bluetooth Smart) and other emerging technologies in geo-location have created a lot of hype around proximity marketing.  Wikipedia defines proximity marketing as the “localized wireless distribution of advertising content associated with a particular place. Transmissions can be received by individuals in that location who wish to receive them and have the necessary equipment to do so.”

At LISNR, we rarely use the word “proximity”.  We use presence. With proximity marketing, even if I know where you are, I don’t necessarily know anything about you or the environment impacting you at that moment.  Sure, I can fire a coupon based on your location, but it is hard to activate a truly valuable experience based on simply your location.

Presence is defined as “the state or fact of existing, occurring, or being present in a place or thing.”  I’m particularly drawn to the idea of “being present”.  What makes LISNR activations so successful is that we focus on activating in real-time based on the experience you’re having in a location, not simply the fact that you are in a location.  Synchronizing a light show at your favorite concert. Displaying missed plays after a restroom trip at the stadium. Providing you a free download of the song you just heard on your favorite television drama. These are things we’re able to do based on your presence, not just your proximity.

I believe what could ultimately doom technologies like BLE is the focus on proximity and the lack of focus on relevance and valuable content based on presence. This oversight leads to consumer disengagement and the disabling of BLE technology on the consumer device.

LISNR is a high frequency, inaudible technology; a new communication protocol that sends data over audio. As the leaders of the Internet of Sound, we use inaudible sound waves called SmartTones™, to transmit information.  LISNR essentially transmits customizable packets of data every second that enable proximity data transmission, second-screen functionality, authentication and low-fi device to deviceconnectivity on any LISNR enabled device.  We enable this functionality better and more efficiently than bluetooth (proximity), ACR (2nd Screen), and NFC/RFID (authentication). As an integrated software partner, LISNR can power devices to connect with world around better than ever before.