Xamarin is holding contest to get ideas of how beacons (iBeacons) can be used to context-aware mobile applications.
I have been doing a lot of research on beacons so I thought I’d share some of my ideas.
The Concept: Restaurant Check and Loyalty Program
You would like to create a program that rewards your regular customers and offers them rewards, such as free food or drinks, the more often they drop in.
You need to track customer visits without resorting to any manual operations (you’ve got a restaurant to run),
This solution will involve creating an application for your store that will provide a variety of functionality, but for this conversation, we’ll just discuss the part involving beacons.
You place a beacon near the front of the restaurant, probably in the hostess stand and encourage your regular customers to download your free restaurant application. Part of the functionality of the application is to monitor for the “check-in” beacon. When a customer walks into the restaurant, the application locates the beacon and sends a check-in report back to the web service that handles the check-process, which rests in Windows Azure.
After recording the check-in event, the web service increments the “reward counter” then checks to see if it is greater than seven. If so, then a notification is sent back to the customer’s phone (using Azure Notification Hubs) which is displayed in the application as a coupon giving the customer a free item from your menu. The reward counter is reset to zero and the reward process will restart upon the next visit.