If you think beacons are all the same, read this …

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Not all beacons are created equal.

Buzz abounds over the iBeacon. And for good reason. iBeacon’s revolutionary concept is a pioneering option in the industry. However iBeacon has limitations. Despite its many strengths, iBeacon communicates in only one direction. In contrast, Loopd utilizes a bi-directional beacon, and the distinction between the two is, well, distinct.

Here’s a crash course education on the difference between the two:

iBeacon works by sending random unique identification codes (UID) in a single direction. Once a phone collects the UID, it requires either cell service or Wi-Fi to process the data packet and send a directed message back to the user’s phone. A byproduct of this one-way communication is that actual information about the user is inaccessible to the iBeacon. As a result, advertising efforts are relatively blind, and iBeacon is unable to collect live-time information about who receives a marketer’s targeted messaging. This technology model is widespread with many beacon systems leveraging classic iBeacon infrastructure or mimicking the same Apple-created architecture.

Loopd is different.

At Loopd, we’ve innovated beyond this single direction model with a bi-directional beacon. No longer is communication one-sided; the Loopd beacon fosters actual conversation. Our beacon can receive information and advertise simultaneously. The difference? It’s like a flat, two-dimensional view of your world being transformed in a three-dimensional reality of texture and depth. Bi-directional beacons exponentially enhance ability.

Bi-directionality enables better and smarter advertising that is targeted rather than scattershot. The Loopd technology platform gives marketers the ability to identify specific recipients of their advertisements and then transforms how they interact with these prospects as a result.

The advertising advantages of Loopd’s beacon even extend beyond the targeted user. Through mesh network leveraging, marketers can learn about 2nd and 3rd degree connections of the targeted user who receives their personalized and directed content. The Loopd platform enables marketers to identify specific trends about potential leads and send optimized content to them, cultivating and capitalizing on inbound opportunities. Like a knowledgeable wingman on a date or opposition research in a political campaign, enhanced information breeds increased opportunity.

The Loopd beacon system is a step ahead of traditional systems, allowing every beacon to turn into a centralized node that is part of a vast mesh network. In contrast, iBeacon is a controlled system created by Apple. It must operate in the confines dictated by Apple and adhere to strict regulations, including the number of devices that can be connected to each other as well as limitations on the transferred data.

The Loopd beacon is like iBeacon’s smarter, more socially adept cousin. It has the ability to connect to up to 1,000 devices at any given moment and the intelligence to send and process real content such as documents and presentations, instead of just a string of unintelligible numbers like iBeacon.

Beacons have ever-expanding capabilities and are an integral part of the modern networking and marketing experience. While one-direction communication is useful, two-direction communication is vital. So, while the iBeacon is good, the Loopd beacon is better.