Gigwalk connects people/companies who need workers to fulfill temporary workload. Users of Gigwalk can agree to fulfill a requested task/service and receive payment via PayPal. You can think of it as a way for an employer to hire a temp worker without ever performing an interview. Gigwalk is an interesting way to connect employers with employees to complete piecemeal work. It reminds me a little of TaskRabbit but less errand/chore based and more task completion.
Checkpoints awards you points for completing surveys, watching videos, shopping online etc. Checkpoint is aligned with manufacturers instead of retailers. inMarket operates the largest mobile shopper platform and the underlying technology used is the iBeacon platform.
iBeacons leverage Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to create a location-aware, context-aware wireless network within a retail establishment. The proximity information can be used to send targeted marketing to nearby smart phones to encourage purchases or to award users of the app with points for scanning product barcodes into the app.
"record, determine or use information about or from another content delivery platform (for example, to unlock potential rewards or offers based on your watching of a specific a commercial or show that is broadcast on your television or on the web, the shopkick application may ask you to open the app while you are watching TV, and then we may record or analyze the audio signal from the television set via the shopkick app and your cell phone’s microphone, to determine the commercial, and/or program, including the date and/or time), and (v) record information derived from such above information and other sources such as entries and offers viewed on our website or on our social media presence, or information provided by Affiliated Partners (collectively, )."Stepsaway is another shopping app that detects customers' smart phones when they are near stores in shopping centers or other public spaces. Stepsaway allows retailers to use a cloud managed platform to push notifications to customers within range of their stores.
It is abundantly clear that the customer is actually the product. Brick and mortar stores are competing with one another for the attention (and wallet) of the consumer. Retailers are willing to offer exclusive discounts to customers to win/retain customer loyalty. What you're trading for those discounts is more than just the space the app takes up on your phone. You're often asked to trade your phone contacts, access to your photos, microphone and location in trade for access to the perceived benefits of the rewards network (via the app).
I'm not the target audience for customer loyalty/shopping apps, but the things I've been reading started me thinking about privacy issues, potential legal issues and how to avoid inadvertently contributing to the demographic database pool.
The fact that the iBeacon technology is Bluetooth with a different name leads me to wonder about how much interference iBeacons add to the 2.4GHz spectrum. How does a wireless infrastructure differentiate between an iBeacon and a Bluetooth source of interference?
Wireless technology is evolving quickly in many disparate ways. It's unclear how iBeacons will be used outside of the retail vertical, or when an active/passive RFID implementation would be preferential over Bluetooth. It's an exciting time in the world of wireless! Some of it makes me a little leery, but I'm hopeful for the possibilities of a more connected world.