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Samsung introduces competition to Apple iBeacon

At Samsung's Developer Conference in San Francisco, the company announced a new website promoting Proximity – a new service for mobile marketing that resembles Apple's iBeacon.

What is Proximity? It's a “mobile marketing platform that connects consumers with places via cutting-edge Samsung location and context-aware technology.”

In other words, it’s a service that can be installed in various shops and malls around the world and once you enter, the store can send you notifications on different discounts, sales and offers.

Even though it sounds similar to Apple's iBeacon (and it is, generally speaking), there are some differences worth mentioning.

While iBeacon works on a third-party level, i.e. iBeacon is enabled through the App Store software, Proximity works on a system level. Samsung is actually building a suite of services, integrating on-site management tools and web consoles for marketers.

In practice, this means that Apple users need to at least download an app before getting targeted by marketers as soon as they enter a store, while retailers can send push notifications to Samsung users without them having to download location-specific apps.

“Visitors can enjoy an enhanced in-store experience by receiving relevant, real-time, and personalised content,” says the Proximity website, meaning the information being pushed to your smartphone will only be useful to the user on the receiving end (for example, clothing suggestions).

Proximity works with a number of different low-power Bluetooth LTE beacons and companies interested in such technology can sign up for the Samsung partner program by following this link.