Freckle IoT, Blue Bite set out to create largest proximity-based beacon network in North America

Freckle IoT, an ad tech company in Toronto that activates next-generation connected devices, is partnering with New York-based Blue Bite, which provides mobile technology for the retail industry. The partnership involves the deployment of 60,000 beacons across the United States, creating what's believed to be North America's largest proximity network.

Citing research from Reveal, VentureBeat notes that a 60,000-beacon network represents potentially a dominant mobile engagement ecosystem unto itself. Reveal's research counts about 64,000 total beacons that it has detected in the United States. Based on Reveal's count, Estimote has 58.3 percent share of beacons deployed, at 9,784. Kontakt accounts for about 18.7 percent share, followed by Roximity, Twocanoes and Radius Networks.

The research firm also cites a word of caution that the beacon manufacturers will correctly assert they've deployed more beacons than Reveal's numbers represent. That's because it hasn't detected all of them, just the ones where it can recognize their UUIDs. If a customer changes their beacons' UUIDs, Reveal can't automatically tie it back to the manufacturer. 

Reveal also says that as of March 2015, it only detects beacons that match the iBeacon protocol, which is why Gimbal doesn't show up on its chart.

Freckle just launched in December of last year as a standalone company headed by Juice Mobile CEO Neil Sweeney. Freckle provides a proximity-based solution that connects in-store and out-of-store brand experiences. It works with outdoor advertising companies and at launch, already had partners to implement beacon technology into billboards and digital screens.

Connecting Freckle's open beacon ecosystem to Blue Bite's location partnerships and mTAG platform will enable advertisers to launch integrated marketing campaigns that connect with consumers across digital, mobile and out-of-home environments with scale, according to a press release.

"With this partnership, we are embarking on the next era of mobile activation--which is based on the Internet of Things," Sweeney said in the release. "As more people adopt connected devices, marketers have grown eager to engage consumers on the path-to-purchase using hyper-local strategies. The scale of this launch means we can provide brands with infinitely greater opportunities to engage their target audience than with what is possible under the boxed-in solutions available in the market."

Instead of being locked within a closed framework of standalone beacon locations with a dedicated application, brands can harness any application enabled with Freckle's software development kit (SDK) to tap into the beacon network and deliver engaging messaging to their target audiences.

Blue Bite says it uses a targeted, location-based approach to reach captive audiences on their personal mobile devices by leveraging NFC, Bluetooth Low Energy, QR, Wi-Fi, SMS, geofencing and other technologies. Partner brands listed on its website include Samsung, Skype, Ford and Reebok, along with a host of others.

For more:
see this VentureBeat article
see the press release

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