GigaOm reports that a new competitor to Apple's iBeacon is emerging for the Android platform for indoor positioning. Datzing, a Los Angeles-based company, has a patent pending that will turn a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi device into a beacon. GigaOm explains:
As someone with the [Datzing] app installed comes into range of a transmitter, it can broadcast a notification that will show up in their app. This will allow users to transmit coupons, images, links to websites and the like.
So, to "zing" someone is to send them a coupon or link. And, so long as you have an app on your device to accept "zings" you're ok.
By comparison, Apple's iBeacon uses Bluetooth technology. Other differentiators include, according to GigaOm:
- Datzing will operate outside the Apple ecosystem; launch on Android first; but could eventually land on iOS.
- No additional hardware is necessary. Datzing may transform any Wi-Fi or Bluetooth device into a transmitter ... even your own mobile device can be a beacon.
Any individual or company can send a "zing" to an app that's ready to accept "zings." And since any Wi-Fi or Bluetooth device can transmit a message, proximity may or may not matter. One of the examples Datzing gives is that of a food truck. The proprietor can "zing" those "listening" to tell them the location of the truck.
As we have assumed for some time, our mobile devices are receivers; Datzing makes it possible for your mobile device to be a transmitter as well. Datzing will also supply retailers, for example, with a Datzing dongle if necessary. Beta tests will launch in March.