Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Near Field Communications (NFC), two wireless communication technologies currently being installed in most of today’s smartphones, are playing a key role in helping mobile technologies redefine how businesses and consumers engage with one another. BLE-enabled smartphones listen for signals from wireless transmitters (BLE Beacons) the size of large match boxes. NFC-enabled smartphones communicate with wireless transmitters (NFC tags) the size of postage stamps.
BLE Beacons continually transmit a discovery signal to be received by BLE-enabled smartphones. NFC tags only communicate when close to an NFC-enabled smartphone. While both BLE and NFL support Android, Windows Phone 8 and Blackberry, only BLE currently supports iOS as well. BLE and NFC both promise to enhance the in-store experience. Due to its characteristics, BLE is well suited for high traffic areas, public ventures and events. NFC is great for transportation passes, event ticketing and access cards.
To learn more details about the future of mobile consumer engagement, check out this full infographic!