Estimote is probably the most recognized beacon hardware company in the marketplace. Their early-mover advantage and superlatives in design have raised their profile above a gluttony of bluetooth hardware companies. But as proximity insiders know, success with beacons is not simply based on the hardware.
In an interview with Street Fight’s Annie Melton, Estimote co-founder Steve Cheney elaborated on this concept:
First the adoption question: What’s been holding beacons back from breaking through to the mainstream and what factors will push them past the tipping point?
At Estimote, we struggled with why everyone thought that they could just place [a beacon] and it was going to work. I finally figured out why: It’s because beacons started as an Apple thing, and nearly everything Apple does is a finished consumer product that works perfectly right out of the box.
iBeacon wasn’t like that; it was a developer framework that required developers to learn how to use it, build security around it, and deploy it at scale. There was never an unboxing moment where there was this technology you could place on the wall and it was going to skip five steps and solve some problem.
Countless times in the past 18 months, we’ve seen buzz for beacon programs that simple aren’t reaching people at scale. As the testing phase wraps up and companies recognize the real impact of proximity, scale will become an even bigger priority.