“The last thing you want to do is enable people to piss their customers off,” Lev expounds. Instead, Signal360 prides itself on enabling companies to take advantage of their beacons by providing not just the black box, but the tools to use it - their CMS organizes the information and how it’s delivered, their Software Development Kit (SDK) nestles the program into the company’s existing app, and Signal 360’s team expertise steers the company to successful implementation.
Guided by consumers, fans and/or visitors’ own preferences and behavioral patterns, Signal360 enables its corporate clients to focus on appropriating and communicating timely and important messages to them, rather than simply pushing everything they have to offer all the time. The result: a more responsive consumer and a potential boon for business as well. Symbiosis.
Most beacons rely entirely on Bluetooth, which is of no help if your Bluetooth is off (as it often is). The microphone, though, can still catch those 20,000 vibrations per second pumping through the air. This is what makes Signal360 unique. Well, that and a few other things.
Alex presides over the office, navigating his algorithmic world with keyboard and mouse perched on a rickety tower of see through plastic storage containers, one of which in the process of jury rigging a smartphone holder, has met the unfortunate end of a box cutter. “Patent pending,” he jokes.
The atmosphere flows seamlessly from jocular to casual to intense. The team balances taking work seriously without taking themselves too seriously. Unlike one might imagine would be for a driven tech company, office discussions run the gamut: from the environment to politics to food to trivia to music. Today they are having a lively debate about how the sogginess of Alex’s shirt will impact his already-beleaguered immune system.
The charisma they bring into the room is palpable: joking and caring, Alex and Lev are the very essence of a dynamic duo. “Some would say [our relationship] borders on deep everlasting love,” Alex, the chief
provocateur, says in a tone at once ironic and serious. But the conversation isn’t all repartee; there’s a collaborative curiosity as they try to figure out, actually, if this sort of thing will make him sicker. This happens more than once–they pick up on something mundane and it turns into a puzzle, their energetic inquiry modeling its own sort of symbiosis.
It’s easy to see how this spirit informs their recent renaming. They associate Sonic Notify, the company’s former name and a reference to their patented audio signal, more with “technical sale,” i.e., one framed by the number of beacons sold. Signal360 in contrast asks, “What do you want to accomplish?”
The company takes responsibility for the integration of the technology with a client’s infrastructure: physical and social. “We set best practices,” says Lev. For clients like the Warriors, for example, whose brand loyalty is dictated by the laws of fandom, Signal360 aims to enhance apps that already exist to support its fan base. There aren’t several departments of the franchise on one side trying to get multiple disjointed messages to the fans on the other side. Signal360 has enabled the Warriors to have a unified approach and a non-invasive, efficient system that actively engages the fan base.
The opportunities for beacon technology are endless. So what fan bases are Lev and Alex a part of, what brands might they want to track? “Tell me about Game of Thrones stuff every day,” Alex enthuses. Lev adds: “I can speak for Alex and say Patagonia.” Patagonia, Alex elaborates, is a clothing company that prefers you don’t buy new clothes if you don’t need to, a brand mindful of the natural ecosystem.
THE BEACON BOYS
BY JUSTIN SARETT with Loy Carlos (continued)
Not that all of Alex’s ecological leanings are so gentle: “BE/KIND/TO/ANIMALS/OR/I’LL/KILL YOU” reads a printout taped to the wall behind his desk. A recent vegetarian, his lunch is a protein bar. But when asked about the wider ecosystem of his technology –what comes to mind most immediately is its outsourced manufacturing –he is thoughtful and provides no easy answers, perhaps reminded of an earlier expression of uncertainty, when the ethics of his product led him to contemplate “what do I want to spend my time working on in the world.”
For now there is much work to be done and companies with which to collaborate. “Signal360’s beacons are now both Eddystone™ and iBeacon™ ready...Eddystone™ is an open BLE beacon format from Google, for both Android and iOS, was created by Google with input from Signal360’s development resources and the team’s subject matter expertise.”
That said, Signal360 is certainly not the end-game. The startup world, Alex says, “infects your blood” (regardless, it seems, of whether you are wearing a dry shirt.) He relishes the challenge to “bash up against an incumbent infrastructure,” to be in a position “where you’re questioning everything.” In what direction will his and Lev’s questioning move next? Perhaps we’ll soon have a beacon to let us know. Be sure to opt in.