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Showing posts from March, 2015

Making retail smart with beacon technology

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The idea of Bluetooth beacon technology is fairly simple and even Apple is the ‘top dog’ - the beacon wars are heating up.


PayPal ( PayPal Beacon: https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/beacon ) and Qualcomm ( Gimbal: http://www.gimbal.com/) are gearing up to challenge Apple with beacon hardware of their own. And also retailers like Target (Cart Wheel) and smaller vendors like Estimote, Swirl, and GPShopper are entering the mix with beacon management and consulting on top of hardware or software platforms.



I already explained the beacon technology ( Understanding and Using iBeacon - BLE and IoT )  – it’s a small device installed on a wall, a counter top or a ceiling of a retail store, and it could be many of them installed.

Apple’s ibeacon device:





PayPal’s beacon device:





They send out information / messages to all the blue tooth receivers around them, typically your smart phone.

Now the short, little beacon messages, that your phone got, tells your phone to go to the web and pull down co…

Understanding and Using iBeacon - BLE and IoT

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Still a bit confused about iBeacon?
What it is – what it does – how it works – and why it’s relevant for us – for everyone who like to merge online and offline?

Well – let me explain it.
iBeacon is a new technology that extends Location Services which allows Mobile Apps (running on both iOS and Android devices) to listen for signals from beacons in the real world and respond e.g. offering services. iBeacon went live in early January 2014, in more than 150 U.S.Giant Eagle and Safeway supermarkets and is increasing from month to month.



In essence, iBeacon technology allows Mobile Apps to understand their position on a micro-local scale, and deliver hyper-contextual content to users based on location.
The iBeacon technology can alert apps when a customer approaches or leaves a location with an iBeacon. In addition to monitoring location, an app can estimate customer’s proximity to an iBeacon (for example, a display or checkout counter in a retail store).
Bluetooth Low Energy BLE is t…

Online identification and authorization - Electronic Identity Card

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It was always tricky and is still not so easy to identify the user securely in the virtual world. We are used to identify ourselves through passport, ID card or driver’s license in our traditional world.
The need for online identification and authorization is increasing from year to year. All too often we are connecting authorization only with safety, security and fraud prevention. But it is needed much more often for instance if we deal with age-dependent goods and services.
The proof of identity goes always together with the sharing of personal and often sensitive data. On the one hand the handling of these data has to be reliable and safe – and on the other hand it should be convenient, easy to handle, cheap and in best case not a physical object.
Online identification and sharing his personal data often worry the average consumer.

A good way for identification is the Electronic Identity Card, often abbreviated as eID or eIC. The Electronic Identity Card is an identity card for on…

The unillustrated wireframe - Page Description Diagram

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Wireframes are schematics or blueprints – a way to show clarity of purpose and function, showing quality of being easily seen or expressed, remembered, understood, etc.. And it’s up to you how schematic or how precise it has to be.

As architect I worked with various deliverables and so I do now as information architect and user experience designer. 7 years ago I wrote ab article about the UX process on Boxes and Arrows (http://boxesandarrows.com/ux-design-planning-not-one-man-show/) and I published a flow / overview of possible deliverables within the design process

http://boxesandarrows.com/files/banda/uxdesign-planning-is/image_6_holger_maassen_schedule_of_UXD-P_718x600.gif

If I think about granularity of wireframes I distinguish various forms and levels.

High fidelity wireframesAnnotated wireframes (valuable to clarify function and interactions)Collaborative wireframes ( team produces )Hand drawn wireframes (early sketches)
First the most detailed is for sure a coded wireframe - th…