Beem helps users make more of the moment – to "see, interact and discover new things". With one click, users who have activated Beem have access to real-world content, such as information, videos, special offers and competitions, direct on their smartphone. The interactive platform can be used by museums, trade fairs, sporting and music events, and advertisers. Beem is an innovative project of Swisscom and is being run like a venture start-up to drive development in an agile manner and swiftly gain new insights from the market.
This August, Radio Energy is using the technology for the first time for an interactive competition as part of its Energy Air partnership with Swisscom. The campaign gives participants in the cities of Zurich and Bern the chance to win exclusive XTRA Circle tickets for Energy Air 2019. Beem is initially being trialled with customers. From October 2019, Beem will be launched on partner apps 20 Minuten and Bluewin, followed by Blick.ch in early 2020. From October 2019, advertisers will also be able to offer interactive Beem content in WerbeWeischer cinema advertisements and on APG|SGA billboards (subject to all necessary approvals for Bluetooth beacon installation) and TV commercials. According to Roland Ehrler, Director of the Association of Swiss Advertisers: “Beem is an innovative platform that offers companies, event organisers and cultural institutions attractive opportunities for bridging the gap between the real and digital world.
Beem offers customers in Switzerland another innovative way of accessing content and campaigns on the Blick app,” says Fabian Zürcher, Head of Brand Studio, Ringier.
For the different applications, Beem transmissions rely on long-established Bluetooth and Audio Content Recognition (ACR) technology. For example, Beem uses Bluetooth to detect objects equipped with Bluetooth transmitters, such as pictures in art exhibitions, or billboards and uses Audio Content Recognition (ACR) to detect audio tracks from TV or cinema commercials.
If the user has opted in to use Beem by personally activating it in a Beem-enabled app and also has Beem open, they can receive the signal or audio track on their smartphone. They will then receive an unobtrusive notification of this via the app, and can click the notification to open the information and special offers.
Beem could also be transmitted using high-frequency audio signals that are inaudible to the human ear. “Swisscom already wanted to launch the audio signal-based technology in Switzerland in spring. This prompted questions and uncertainties, although the technology is already being used in other countries and even in Switzerland in the industrial sector,” explains Alessandro Rausa, CEO of Beem. “However, we take these concerns seriously and will decide on the further use of this technology as soon as we have the assessment from the Federal Office for the Environment.” The sound volume of Beem has already been found to be in compliance with the law. For the time being however, Beem will only be launched with the already widely-used Bluetooth and Audio Content Recognition technology.
“Beem is of course fully compliant with the latest data protection requirements,” explains Nicolas Passadelis, Head of Data Governance at Swisscom. After Beem was first showcased, concerns were expressed by critics of the technology about its potential for data tracking. “Such concerns are understandable, but entirely unfounded," Passadelis continues, emphasising that users have full control over their data. Users have to opt in to use the technology by activating it directly in the Beem app or one of the partner apps (20 Minuten, Bluewin or Blick.ch). This is the only way the app can receive Beem signals. Another important point, says Passadelis, is that “Users can deactivate Beem at any time.”
The Beem demo park illustrates just how easy it is to connect the real and digital worlds. From now on, the media can find out more about the opportunities offered by the platform and its technologies. Various use cases show how users can use the technology to access real-world content directly on their smartphone in a simple and exciting way. In informal discussions with the Beem team, the media can learn more about how people can interact with the technology and data protection.
Appointments can be arranged with Christian Rufener, email@example.com, +41-58-221 17 05.
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