Locly Beacon Publishing Platform: ‘WordPress for the Real World’

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Locly web publishing platform for beacons

60 Beacons at one of the World’s Largest Cultural Festivals

We’re delighted to talk about our latest and very exciting iBeacon project that’s launching today.

Over the past few weeks we’ve been working with the National Eisteddfod in Wales, one of the world’s largest cultural festivals, to develop a bilingual iPhone and iPad app for visitors to the event. For the app, Apple’s iBeacon technology has been used to deliver location-based news and information to the event’s 160,000 visitors over next week.

Around 60 beacons have been placed around the grounds, which covers all competition tents, exhibition stands and performance areas.  Each beacon is linked to specific information and media related to its location, and app users will see the content change as they walk around, with the nearest beacon being the most prominent (at the top).  For users, the experience is as if their iPhone or iPad has eyes!

For example, the app knows that it’s nearby the main competition tent, and so displays the relevant event schedules, background details on participants and competitors, plus results, photos, videos for that place.  Some other features of the app include puzzles, games and a treasure hunt for children.  There will even be a beacon placed in the cloak of the festival’s most prominent prize-winner, so app users will know when the winner’s parade is about to pass them!

However, perhaps the most exciting thing about this project for us, is that the Eisteddfod team used our new beacon web-based content publishing platform to create the app.  So using a set of easy-to-use web screens the team was able to:

  • Create sets of content cards for each beacon by uploading text, images, videos and interactive widgets
  • Create all content in multiple languages (English and Welsh)
  • Set the cards to be displayed at a specific time or date
  • Easily assign each card set to one or more beacons

The team are also using the system to update existing cards and publish new ones throughout the event, to display the latest news and results. As soon as they save any updates, or click ‘publish’ on a new card, it will appear in the app in seconds.

Rhys Jones, Co-Founder of Locly said: ‘We are very excited about our new iBeacon publishing platform, which we think of as ‘WordPress for the real world‘.  Whether it’s for a blog, a website or an email-shot, people are familiar with using a web interface to publish content, and we wanted to bring that familiarity to the beaconsphere. In a matter of minutes, anyone can publish content onto a beacon of their choice. With around 60 beacons across the Eisteddfod, this is the largest beacon installation we have completed so far.

The Eisteddfod app, called ‘Ar Y Maes’ (roughly translated as ‘On the Field’), is available on the App Store now. Look out for more apps created with our beacon publishing platform coming soon, including a project that has beaconised an entire town!  If you’re interested to find out more about using the Locly platform for beacons please contact us.