How this new app will change the way we eat out forever.

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The new app that will change the hospitality industry.

We all love heading out and enjoying some awesome food with friends right? Right!

Well what about the times when you are in a really busy restaurant or bar? And you try and grab the attention of a waiter with that awkward half lifted arm with a whisper of “excuse me…. excuse me…” but never get served? Or you have been craving that special fried rice you having been dreaming about all week so you go but the waiter stuffed the order up?…..

 

That is all about to change.

This new app ‘buddy’ has been completely designed to make our experience when dining out as smooth as you could possibly imagine.

Ordering your drink and bite to eat right from your seat, from your mobile device.

Yes you read it right, the revolutionary buddy app will allow you to order your food and drink when sat in the restaurant itself!

What does this do for us users?

  1. Never have an order stuffed up again
  2. Never have to fight for a waiters attention when the poor bugger is looking after 12 tables on his own
  3. Keep the focus and conversation flowing at the table without interruptions
  4. No language barriers when travelling over seas
  5. Allows seamless bill splitting with your friends

What does this mean for the businesses?

  1. Reduce the weekly wage bill by 40%
  2. Eliminates mistakes with customers orders
  3. Boosts revenue by 35%
  4. Collects customer profiles in the restaurants database to create loyalty programs.
  5. Allows the restaurant to run more smooth and efficient

New Digital Waiter

There will be plenty more features being rolled out on the buddy app, including one of my favorites which is your personal pocket buddy, the new digital waiter.

Yes buddy will notify you when walking right by a restaurant or bar of their real time happy hours, lunch and dinner specials, live music nights and much more.

Buddy will pickup your behavior i.e, when you have spent a certain amount of time in one establishment buddy will remind you of those naughty little treats such as dessert or maybe another glass of that special pinto you have been sipping on.

with then the ability to order another one within the buddy app. (how exciting)

Exclusive Club

Here is where you get to be kept in the know of all things awesome at your chosen new favorites.

Joining an exclusive community with the buddy app is possibly the most rewarding move you could make, by following a restaurant or bar that you fancy allows you as a follower to receive exclusive notifications of special deals, only followers receive these special deals which might include ‘by one get one free ice cream’ or even ‘Sunday session vibes $5 beers to our followers’.

Me personally am very much looking forward to these features.

If you wish to be kept updated on all things buddy feel free to join our exclusive club today

Something big is about to launch in Australia

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New Restaurant lifestyle app buddy to Launch here in Australia!

Danny Simmonds has a lot to smile about lately, this young entrepreneur is on the precipice of something big.
With a start-up business recently securing a staggering $1.8 million in funding and an engagement to his beautiful partner Rachel, you could say Danny has had one heck of a year.
His start-up venture ‘Buddy,’ which is being developed into a mobile app for download on iOS and Android, will be launched in Australia and New Zealand this spring, and has been creating quite a buzz in the innovation and start-up world and will take Australia by storm when launched at the end of this year.

Inspired by platforms like TripAdvisor and Airbnb, Danny’s idea had transformed into an app which helps local cafes, restaurants and takeaway shops gain exposure to new customers in a “real life” digital environment.
Welcome to the latest restaurant pocket weapon which is about to go global, Buddy.
With the help of Queensland’s chief entrepreneur Mark Sowerby last year, Danny says he is also being introduced and making friends to industry heavyweights like Wotif.com founder Graeme Wood and meetings with the founder of ‘The Urban List’ Susannah George as his business takes shape.

Most recently receiving $1.8 million in capital, Buddy has been given the cash injection it needed to launch.
“Users will have thousands of happy hours at their fingertips, as well as image carousel menus, opening hours and booking buttons,” Danny said.
The app will tailor itself specifically to the user by asking specific questions, to understand preferred tastes, habits and allergies, so that their landing page is full of businesses perfectly suited to their needs.
You can upload your pictures of your food which connects straight to the business’ Instagram page, and the business can receive bookings 24-7 straight through to them.
“A business will receive Analytics on likes, recommendations, followers and the app will connect to the users’ Facebook, giving the restaurant over 300 times more exposure.
“The business listings are simple to create, just like a Facebook profile.”

The best part about Buddy is helping businesses move an excess of stock. When a restaurant needs to move stock, they can create a menu special and push notifications to their followers or out in their radius to reach Buddy users and gain instant exposure for the deal.
Danny has honed the features of the Buddy to incorporate some pretty exciting user benefits, too.
“You can be walking past a restaurant and not realise it has just kicked off its happy hour. You have tailored Buddy to recognise you enjoy the happy hour specials, so when you’re nearby one,Beacon Notification” will buzz your phone with an alert.
“It’s very cool,“ he said.


With over 2500 pre-registered businesses and 80,000 pre-registered users waiting for the app to be launched, Buddy is taking marketing into the 21st century.
Buddy is set to launch this spring, and with industry predictions for the app to be on three continents by 2020, Danny is preparing for a life-changing couple of years.

Asking his girlfriend Rachel to marry him during a trip to Bali last year is the icing on the cake for this whirlwind entrepreneur.
“Rachel is very down to earth. She takes each day as it comes and helps remind me how to keep my feet on the ground,” Danny said.
“If it wasn’t for her, this would never have happened. She has backed me and supported me every step of the way,” he said.
“It has grown bigger than me now, so Buddy will need to be based from Melbourne by the end of the year,” he said.

With Buddy planned for expansion into South East Asia, Europe and the States by 2020, Danny Simmonds is in for the ride of his life.
“It has been a very long, hard, painful, exhausting journey to get here. This has changed my life big time. I’m nervous, but so excited for what’s to come.”

Written by the Noosa Today | www.noosatoday.com.au

 

Beacons and Proximity Marketing, all you need to know.

Beacons and Proximity Marketing: All You Need to Know

Among the strategies mobile marketers can use to target users is proximity marketing based on the use of Beacon devices. This is now becoming more and more popular. Beacons are proving crucial to help retailers drive foot traffic to their stores, increase conversion rates and sales volume. But what exactly are Beacons and how do they work?

The future of mobile marketing relies on personalised campaigns. The more you get to know your users and target them according to specific parameters, like their demographics, in app behaviour and location, the quicker your app user base will grow alongside engagement and retention.

Location based campaigns are especially relevant for retailers, because these campaigns deliver informative messages at the right time, such as when users are close to the store, and drive footfall.

Among the strategies mobile marketers can use to target users is proximity marketing based on the use of Beacon devices. This is now becoming more and more popular. Beacons are proving crucial to help retailers drive foot traffic to their stores, increase conversion rates and sales volume. But what exactly are Beacons and how do they work?

Beacon devices: an overview

Beacons are small devices that send Bluetooth Low Energy signals (BLE)  to smartphones and tablets nearby. Once emitted, these one way radio waves reach the phones in the vicinity of the Beacon device and interact with the mobile applications installed on those phones. That means that when the signal from a Beacon reaches a phone, it triggers specific actions, like location-based notifications, in that phone’s mobile apps. Beacons don’t send notifications themselves. What they really do is send a piece of geographic information, a unique identifier, to the mobile applications within their range (about 50 metres).

The unique identifier, which is different for every beacon, contains three types of data: information about the beacon vendor; information about a certain location, such as a store location; information about a specific subregion within a store, such as a store department. To be able to receive the signal from a beacon, a mobile app needs to be previously enabled to communicate with it. That means the unique identifier of a specific beacon has to be included in that mobile application code.

Moreover, the interaction between a mobile phone and a beacon device is not automatic. It requires users to enable the Bluetooth device on their phones and to opt in to receive signals from Beacons for a specific mobile application.

Finally, iOS and Android platforms interact with Beacons in a different way. The reason behind this is that Apple implemented an iBeacon protocol which enables iPhones and iPads (running the latest version of iOS7) to constantly scan for Beacon devices in their proximity. When a beacon is detected, it can automatically ‘talk’ to the mobile applications installed on those Apple devices, even if those apps are closed and not running. Due to the iBeacon protocol, we refer to such Beacons as iBeacons. On the other hand, Android platforms don’t have such a protocol, so Android apps need to be running on the phone, at least in the background, to receive signals from Beacon devices in their proximity.

Beacons can emit BLE signals for up to 5 years and have very little cost (a few dollars each).

Proximity marketing: the use of Beacon technology to provide a location based experience

As highlighted by this article, ‘total BLE Beacon shipments will comfortably exceed 400 million units in 2020’. The reason behind this impressive growth trend is that a wide range of new marketing opportunities are now accessible, and very promising, thanks to Beacons. Retailers are more and more keen to use these devices in their marketing strategies to make sure their customers receive a deeply personalized and time relevant user experience. Proximity marketing, based on the use of Beacon devices, is the future of mobile marketing. Let’s have a look at the main Beacon-based opportunities for retailers.

Location-based campaigns

Beacons can trigger location-based notifications in specific apps on customers phones. These notifications might inform customers, in a personalized way, about special promotions, discounts or new products available within the store where the beacons are placed. Location-based notifications can be used to invite customers to enter a nearby store, or to welcome them when they enter the store, or to greet them when they leave by providing a discount or a special treat to encourage them to come back. All these strategies are very powerful tactics to drive foot traffic to retail stores and increase their conversion rates and sales volume. Also, this use of Beacons can help retailers attract users to their apps, retain those users, and increase engagement on those apps.

Data collection

By interacting with the mobile applications installed on smartphones and tablets within their range, Beacons can help retailers track users behaviours and collect relevant data about users preferences and actions. This data is a powerful source of information for retailers because they can use it to re-target customers with even more personalised campaigns.

Beacons with free access

Retailers could enable developers and app owners to have free access to their beacons in order to increase foot traffic to their store. For example, mobile applications about food and dieting could send location-based notifications to users within the range of a specific beacon and encourage them to enter the store and buy what they need for their food plans.

Beacons Helps the People Who Are Blind Explore Wellington, New Zealand

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Beacons Helps the People Who Are Blind

The desire to help the people who are partially-sighted was part of what the growth of beacon tech. Long before the commercial applications of beacons created the proximity industry, it was clear that the technology could be a tool for those who needed a little help navigating their way around public spaces.

Recently, Kontakt.io was on a team of partners who helped to implement a project backed by the Wellington City Council, New Zealand to install two hundred beacons in the central business district to assist the person who are blind or partially-sighted. The deployment was part of the Council’s Smart Capital strategy and has been praised by the City’s mayor as “a first for New Zealand and will build Wellington’s reputation as a smart and accessible destination” and “will welcome people with visual impairments to participate fully in the life of the city.”

Beacons detect, BlindSquare speaks

Some 200,000 New Zealanders have some form of visual impairment and the Wellington deployment was designed to make shopping, getting around and enjoying all that the area has to offer easier than ever.

Users can install a free application from BlindSquare in their iPhones and instantly take advantage of the navigation and information services available. After many successful deployments elsewhere around the world, this was the another use of BlindSquare’s navigational assistance capabilities in New Zealand.

The application uses text-to-speech to give users audible information about their environments and even the interior layout of buildings. It gives spoken contextual direction-specific information about the names of shops and what they offer, nearby public transport stops and even the names of streets they are walking along or crossing.

The idea was to build on the accessibility that beacons provided in retail, hotels and museums and take it to the next level by having everything interconnected with things like information about public transport. The project specifically set out to prove the value of a single beacon, in a single shop, illuminating the interior with information.

“We have seen excellent examples of how beacons can improve accessibility within places like retail, hotels and museums. Now it is about taking this a step further by having everything interconnected.” — Brent Albiston, Managing Director at Radiola Aerospace

Navigating inside and outside

The Wellington, BlindSquare Enabled Project was intended to offer rich information, inside and outside. In fact, a big part of the appeal for many in the partially sighted community was the ability to navigate indoors.

Travel for blind and partially sighted people becomes more difficult when they enter buildings. GPS signals are lost, no additional information is available, exploring new areas becomes harder and may even require sighted assistance. It is our goal to create environments that support independent travel, adventure, and the joys of choice, whether outdoors or indoors. We do this daily.” — Ilkka Pirttimaa, CEO at MIPsoft, creators of BlindSquare

Participation in the project was free for retailers and businesses were urged to take part. One beacon per location was installed for locations that joined with a couple of exceptions for buildings with multiple entrances. When anyone using the app passes by a beacon in one of the “BlindSquare-enabled” shops, services, offices or institutions, its name and a brief description can be heard along with information about the interior location of things like doors, stairs, and other features. This spoken information can be easily updated as needed.

New Zealand Blind Foundation CEO Sandra Budd says the beacon deployment in Wellington “will make businesses and their information more accessible and help people who are blind or have low vision to live a life without limits. Visitors will no longer encounter a void when they enter a business because there will now be information beyond the tip of the cane as they explore, enjoy their coffees, purchase their goods and visit with friends in the central city with new-found ease.”

The most important benefit of the beacon deployment in Wellington is enabling residents, visitors, and tourists who are visually impaired to explore, shop and enjoy their time in the Central Business District independently. Thomas Bryan of the Blind Foundation New Zealand sums it up nicely when he says “You don’t always want to be asking for help.”

“I strongly believe that Wellington City Council will inspire more local governments to implement beacon-based solutions for their societies. We couldn’t be more proud that we are a part of that story.” — Szymon Niemczura, CEO at Kontakt.io

Wellington, BlindSquare Enabled Project launch video:

What is Google Nearby? It May Not Be What You Think.

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What is Google Nearby? It May Not Be What You Think.

Google Nearby notifications can send URLs to passers-by without the need for an app. Here’s what you need to know about the latest beacon use case.

Google Nearby has been growing in popularity in recent months. Ordinary businesses are learning about the opportunity to reach a new customer base and solution providers are seeing a brilliant opportunity to add value to their apps and platforms. However, with great popularity comes numerous questions. What is Google Nearby, how do Nearby notifications work, and how can you use it?

What is Google Nearby?
Google Nearby in Android allows users to discover nearby devices or contextual information without an app. There are three types of these interactions: nearby messages, communication, and notifications.

Messages supports small binary (unencrypted) payloads to be shared between Android and iOS devices.

Communications is about bringing nearby users together digitally. This could be for data transfers, multi-screen gaming, or other kinds of sharing.

Notifications send location-specific notifications to users, no app install required. These come in the form of secure URLs.

These Nearby Notifications are (now famously) linked to Bluetooth beacons. The good news is they’re easy to use and don’t require much in-depth knowledge. There are several reasons to use Google Nearby.

Google Nearby Notifications options

How about a Google Nearby Example?

When Nearby first emerged, it was a big deal. Even now, it continues to make waves. Just recently, Google opened up their Connections API to developers. While it was previously only available to partners, now any and all happy Android developers can give it a go. Specifically, there are two key ways you can use Nearby.

  1. Advertise a URL. Want to direct passers-by to your website? To a related page with information about your products and further content? Nearby can make this easy by sending a URL to your visitors and those in the area. Plus, you can add a 40 character title. For example, “Want free coffee?” or “Learn more about amphibious puppies!”
  2. Trigger an app Intent. An Intent would be the description of an operation that is to be performed. For example, an action within an already installed app: open this option or file this data. When your user receives the app Intent via URL, the app will automatically run those parameters. If the app isn’t installed, it can direct users to the Play Store to download the app (or any other page). What better way to get people to notice your proximity-based app than a proximity-based notification?

How it works
Google Nearby is incredibly special because it is present on all modern Android devices. If you’re running any recent version of Android, you can see Nearby notifications. More importantly, your possible visitors or users can, too. This works through Google Play Services, which is a crucial (though often forgotten) beast that basically makes your phone work as expected. Locations APIs, Google Maps APIs, and several other things run through Google Play Services. It keeps your apps updated and, now, it’s letting Google support more possibilities on your phone.

A few frequently asked questions about Google Nearby with beacons:

  • Yes, it only works on Android
  • Yes, it does support iBeacon
  • Yes, it only sends URLs (HTTPS to be exact!)
  • No, links to play.google.com are not supported (use Intents instead)
  • No, it doesn’t support data tracking*

*While you may be able to see how many people access the link, you won’t be able to make any connection between the phone or user and a specific click.

How does Google Nearby scanning actually work?
The scanning process is actually very simple and very similar to work your phone does every day. Once the phone screen is on for a few seconds, Google Play Services will quickly scan for nearby material. This does mean that if the screen hasn’t been active for a while, it won’t discover beacons and content. This makes sense for users who are passing through. A user engaged on their phone is likely to also be engaged with or staying in a location for a period of time. A user who is not engaged with their phone at all is likely simply passing through the space and has little use for the proximity-based messages.

Why might notifications not be showing up? If you swipe away a notification, it will disappear for a longer and longer amount of time. For example, it may first just go away for a day, then a few days, and so on, as it clearly isn’t immediately useful to you. Okay, now for the big question…

How to use Google Nearby

Are you a business owner looking to buy a couple beacons? Or a solution provider looking to integrate Nearby into your app? There are two ways to use Nearby, and both of them are valuable in their own way.

First, you can simply use Google’s Dashboard. Once you set up your beacons, you can begin sending URLs to users, update and engage them. This option is great because it’s simple and you can do everything yourself—no need to pay for an app or provider. Plus, it’s also perfect for testing and playing around. Find the Dashboard over here and our complete instructions over here.
Second, you can use a specially made app. There are several of these floating around, and they offer a wide variety of capabilities. In general, they make the services available through Google Dashboard easier to maneuver. However, they can also combine the basic Nearby notifications with other tools—beacon push notifications, data analytics, sophisticated dashboards. This all depends on the solution provider, of course. Unfortunately, if you’re looking to integrate the Google Nearby API into an app or pair it with iBeacon and so on, you’ll have to be comfortable enough to design a complete app and/or platform.

Want to check the Nearby settings on your phone? What about enable Physical Web on Chrome? Check out our instructions here.

I’m a business owner, and I want to reach possible customers!
Awesome! In the past, you would’ve been limited to physical advertising like in-store signs or billboards. Now, you have far more options. Whether you’re a large retailer or a mom-and-pop shop, Nearby is easy to use, implement, and benefit from. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. Most importantly, you’ll need to carefully consider your target audience. If you can send messages, so can a lot of people. This is why notifications that are not well received by users (for example, perceived as spammy and therefore perform poorly) may not be shown. If you want to generate value from a Nearby campaign, you must put the user first.

Even the Google Developers’ page included suggestions for maximum effectiveness, and they’re spot-on:

  • Point users to apps or websites that some users already visit in that location.
  • Be appealing to most users who will receive the notification.
  • Optimizing the beacon location may help target only interested users.
  • Have a direct call to action and avoid surprising the user.
  • Strive for messages that receive positive user engagement
  • How do you push user engagement in your messaging?
  • Be sure to give them content they want and will be happy to interact with. Are you solving a problem? Answering a question?
  • Be sure to know the value of your messages.

Nearby vs. Physical Web: aren’t they the same?

While Nearby Notifications are built into Google Play Services, and therefore your Android phones, Physical Web is not. It runs through specific apps like Chrome or the Physical Web app itself. As a result, that means while Nearby works only on Android (which uses Google Play), Physical Web can be run on any phone (Android or iOS) that installs the related app. Furthermore, Physical Web will only send notifications when the user enables scanning. Nearby, on the other hand, is designed to run and scan quietly in the background.

Tired of reading? This talk from Google I/O walks through the details and technicalities that may fill in the gaps. Or, again, find our complete instructions over here.