2012 Best Retail Deployment: Mobile 


Project: The Smart Antenna
Client: Mac's Convenience Stores and PinPoint Media Group
Submitted by: iSIGN Media Corp.


iSIGN developed a Smart Antenna to support simultaneous Bluetooth and Wi-Fi proximity marketing to mobile devices. Because the Smart Antenna interaction is supported by services that are pre-installed in mobile devices, there is nothing to install. The Smart Antenna can discover mobile phones with their Bluetooth on and send messages to almost all phone types. Bluetooth discovery data can be used to support anonymous crowd tracking and calculation of user and crowd dwell times within specific locations.

Messages promote products and services that are within proximity and are measured to prove user impressions. Users of Wi-Fi capable devices such as tablets and smart phones can connect to the Smart Antenna and browse locally cached web content. Content can include graphics, videos, polls, or audio and is interactive supporting polls and loyalty program membership management. Wi-Fi connections and page hits are stored to further improve analytics for optimizing campaigns or proving impressions.  

Objectives of the deployment or the technology:

The Smart Antenna was developed to support very simple user interaction using the built in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities of their mobile devices so that they could get info on products and services within proximity. Alternative technologies relied too much on user installation of application support and user access to cell data.

Results achieved relative to the objectives:

iSIGN has been able to validate the approach taken in engaging mobile device users and providing them with content that benefits both the users themselves and retailers that are in proximity.

Size and geographic location(s) of the deployment: 

To date, iSIGN has installed the IMS Bluetooth systems in approx 500 Mac's Convenience Store locations. An additional 900 stores locations has just begun and mobile interactions from installed antennas have surpassed 500,000 and growing. Once completed the Mac's chain will reach and average of 1.5 million consumers daily. 
Selected judges’ comments: 
  • Big presence in Canada. Lots of application for this technology in high density metropolitan areas, paricularly in markets where NFC is not standardized. Since the iSign transceiver also supports WiFi, the bluetooth shortfall doesn’t rule this out as a solution or make it a less interesting technology. 
  • Smart use of Bluetooth, a ubiquitous technology. Using cached content is also very smart. 
  • This is a very intriguing application. The GUI looks very clean and functional. The fast response time is very appealing for the consumer. If I were a retailer with a younger demographic, I'd be looking at this very closely. 

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