The US Market is Different: It’s the Mindset

July 4, 2017

What makes the American beacon market so different? Two Kontakters travelled the US to find out. What they found was open minds even in the most unexpected of places.
One afternoon in May, Filip Karwala and Philipp von Gilsa flew from Europe to the US to meet with 35 great companies around the country. They visited anyone who would have insights on beacon needs in the US market: from marketing giants and Silicon Valley heavyweights to blossoming startups and local authorities.
They not only got a taste of what markets were hot but what made them so popular. However, they also got to learn much more about what makes America tick.
We know beacons can help make travelers’ lives easier. They can help businesses reach their audience. They can even help drive traffic into underutilized spaces. The big problem has always been getting the word out and convincing the world.

A talk with transit operators

When the pair met with the operators of public transport in LA, they were excited. Daydreaming of beacons in the iconic city is enough to get any IoT lover excited. What they didn’t expect was how excited the transport operators would be.
Beacon use cases for transit have been growing, but this is just as often due to push from marketers as it is actual interest from public authorities. Proxama has deployed in London, Syntus is driving off-hours traffic in the Netherlands, and Wellington is helping the visually impaired navigate the city with beacons. When it comes to beacons in large train stations or bus infrastructures, it’s the travelers who win.
This is what the team planned to tell the LA transit authority all about—but they were too late. The authority representatives were already on board with the idea.

“Not only were public authorities interested in beacons, they were looking far into the future. These are people that have been in the business for decades, and they’re continuing to look to new tech to fix their business pain points.”
Filip Karwala

Open minds in unexpected places

"In short, if it will help business, they want it.”
Though many have tried, it’s difficult to say just which country is “the most” in love with technology. However, one thing can be sure, the US is full of innovative ideas and people who want innovation.
“In short, if it will help business, they want it," explains Karwala. "Even if they’re a traditional company or public authority, they’re curious. There’s always going to be an amount of bureaucracy, but the overwhelming interest in innovation and the latest tools is astounding.”
Whether it was San Fransisco or rural America, our Kontakters found innovation and technology all over the USA. Everywhere they went, they found a local startup disrupting the space. They found grassroots techies looking to use beacons to update traditional industries. Needless to say, we’re looking forward to all the incredible ways beacon lovers around the globe will surprise us in the future.
Read more from Filip Karwala's complete post here.

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Hannah Augur

Content writer / tech blogger / geek based in Berlin. Hannah reports on all things tech and has a medium-sized tolerance for buzzwords.

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