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Linux-based access point uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for proximity marketing

Oct 7, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 10 views

iSign Media Solutions announced a Linux-based device designed to send out marketing messages via either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Including an integral web server and the ability to communicate with digital signage PCs, the “Smart Antenna” is an all-weather device that draws five Watts of power over an Ethernet cable, says the company.

ISign Media Solutions is an interactive marketing company specializing in location-based interactive proximity advertising solutions. The company previously offered an antenna-enabled peripheral device for digital signage and PoS systems that managed Bluetooth interactions.

The new Smart Antenna upgrades that design with Wi-Fi broadcasting, as well as an unnamed processor that runs Linux, according to an iSign spokesperson. The new device is said to be the first such peripheral designed to simultaneously broadcast via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to mobile devices.

iSign Smart Antenna

The Smart Antenna functions as an open Wi-Fi access point. It includes an extensible embedded Apache web server customers can access via their smartphone,  plus a Bluetooth radio for communicating with most other handsets, according to the company.

iSign notes that passers-by can connect to the Smart Antenna and view content without having to load apps onto their phones. Although not much detail was provided, it appears the device also connects to a store's digital signage systems so these, too, can change what they're displaying in response to customer requests.

Mobile web content can include coupons, product info, videos, and games, says the company. Content can be interactive, including user polling and loyalty membership management, iSign says.

An iSign marketing site served up to an iPhone via the Smart Antenna

The Smart Antenna device is protected by a waterproof aluminum enclosure, and is designed for temperatures ranging from -40 to 185 deg. F (-40 to 85 deg. C), says iSign. The device is said to draw less than five Watts and is powered over an Ethernet cable with a maximum length of 300 feet. The Smart Antenna can also run off a battery for weeks if required, the company claims.

Stated Alex Romanov, iSign's CEO, "Having the ability to communicate via Wi-Fi strengthens our product line immeasurably. We can now offer clients a product line that ranges from simple Bluetooth messaging with basic reporting, to Bluetooth broadcasting and full reporting or broadcasting utilizing both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with full reporting capabilities."

iSign Smart Antenna mobile services demonstrated on YouTube
Source: iSign
(Click to play)


No pricing or availability information was offered on the iSign Smart Antenna. More information may be found at the iSign website.

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