Capira Technologies has launched iBeacon powered app for libraries which provide patrons with a more personalised experience. Beacon Integration allows libraries with CapiraMobile Apps to interact with their patrons using indoor micro location services over Bluetooth. iBeacons are currently used in many retail locations to interact with customers, but are now being brought to libraries. iBeacons are small battery powered devices that broadcast wireless messages, with adjustable ranges as small as 1 foot and as large as 250 feet.
The features of this app include Circulation Notices which reminds patrons about due items; Event Notices which can be triggered when a patron walks into a particular section notifying them about upcoming events; Informational Notices; Shelving Notices enabling patron to see a list of items in a particular section; Patron Assistance and Beacon tracking amongst others. Unique features include a library card sign-up module that enables users to provide proof of residency remotely by taking a photo of a utility bill, and a digital library card presentation module that allows patrons to display and scan their library card barcode using their mobile device.
Managing Partner and Lead Software Engineer of Capira Technologies, Michael Berse said- “This is a new way to personalize a patrons experience at the library. For example, patrons can now be reminded about items due that day they may have forgotten to bring with them when they arrive at the building, or walk into a specialty section such as Local History and see information about it on their device. He added that the service allows libraries with limited staff resources to provide more customer service.”It’s just another way to really keep in touch with patrons,”
“This isn’t an opt-out system; it’s an opt-in system,” Berse says.
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The company is considering partnering with nearby businesses, such as restaurants and train stations, so that patrons can get special messages and incentives inside and outside of the library.
Developed by Apple in 2013, iBeacon app was set to transform the retail industry. While it has been used extensively for selling products, it is now being used to enhance library and museum experiences. Spotzer, a Boston based statup has worked with Neue Galerie in New York and the Boston Atheneaum to make the user experience more personalised.
Brendan Ciecko, CEO and founder of Spotzer quoted “This particular technology really ties together what makes libraries and museums so valuable to the world. They’re an indelible, invaluable physical venue for knowledge.”
iBeacon Integration is currently in beta testing at the Somerset County Library System in New Jersey, and the Half Hollow Hills Community Library in New York. Long Island’s Jericho Public Library (JPL),Hampton Library, and Mattituck-Laurel Library(MLL) each recently launched customized versions of CapiraMobile.
MLL’s Assistant Director, Jeffery Walden stated “The app just has a more modern connotation than ‘go to our website,’” he said. “It’s appealing to the type of people who live with their phones. When you say ‘website,’ they’re thinking the old way, where you’re going to have to blow everything up to look at it, and not everything is going to work properly. With the app, we’ve advertised it as the digital branch of the library—the place to go where you can do things easily with your mobile device.” (source: theDigitalshift)
This technology will reinvent the rapidly declining importance of libraries and museums in our community, reminding people of the wide range of services and resources they have to offer.
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(Image credit: Amanda Graham, via Flickr)