While the sensor-type Bluetooth Smart devices can indoubtedly answer specific needs, consumers will certainly be less receptive to iBeacon-type in-store messaging and micro-geolocalized marketing (see Hold back your high tech marketing tactics! ).
The invasiveness of Bluetooth Smart beacons may be felt even more strongly if shoppers are asked to download the app of every shop they visit.
This is the pitch of Canadian startup, Reteneo, who designed its 'Puck' as a stripped-down iOS and Android-compatible beacon platform to allow multiple retailers and merchants to offer beacon-based services to consumers via a single 'Reteneo Life' app instead of having to download a separate app for each beacon.
For as low as $15 per month, retailers will be able to ping their visitors, without collecting their personal info nor asking them to register, all the set-up, programming and maintenance being centralized and performed remotely by Reteneo.
Included in the subscription fee, the company will also replace defective any beacon with failing batteries (on two watch batteries, those will run for an average of two years in continuous operation, claims the manufacturer).
"We can foresee a day where every retailer or merchant has beacons, but we cannot foresee a day where consumers are willing to have hundreds of different beacon-compatible apps on their smartphones," explains Cesar Rego, CEO of Reteneo in a joint statement with Nordic Semiconductor, provider of the nRF51822 radio SoC.
"It's never going to happen given that people are already complaining that they have too many apps on their smartphones as it is."