A couple weeks ago, I received a package in the mail from Project Beacon with the Google’s Mountain View, California address on it. When I opened it up, I found a beacon and some instructions on how to set it up. I did not yet set it up, but I dug deeper into it. No one was talking about it until this past week. I spotted a number of posted about it on Twitter just this past week, all asking what this is about.
Here is the box it came in:
Here is the beacon itself:
Here is the package contents, with the instructions:
The help document leads to this page which describes why Google is doing this beacon project:
Beacons can help improve the location information Google provides to you and your customers. The beacon is a small, Bluetooth device that sends a one-way signal to a user’s phone without capturing any information about the user. If a user shares their location, the beacon signal can help the user’s phone determine their location more accurately. When a user’s phone has a better understanding of where they are and if they’ve visited your store, you can unlock a variety of new features to improve their experience and your local business presence.
It also explained why some businesses are getting these beacons out of the blue:
In most cases, businesses receive beacons after requesting them from Google. If you weren’t expecting to receive a beacon and need help setting it up, you can contact your operations department. If need be, ask them to reach out to their Google sales representative for more information.
We’re sending some beacons to businesses who’ve used our advertising services, and are likely to benefit to from location features. If you don’t want to use your beacon, you can dispose of it. Keep in mind, disposing of your beacon may impact your eligibility for Project Beacon in the future.
Beacons do provide more pinpoint accuracy of a user’s location, espesially when indoors.
Did you get one of these?
Forum discussion at Twitter.