I wanted to share our launch news with Estimote and its customers. My company, Apptiq LLC, uses Estimote beacons for its solutions. We are a small software company located in Waxhaw, North Carolina (population 10,000+). Today the Town of Waxhaw, in conjunction with Apptiq, announced the launch of the Main Street Waxhaw app for iOS (Press Release). Apptiq uses Estimote beacons for its Main Street application (Download).
As a pilot project for a larger retail/restaurant/services application, Apptiq worked with the Town of Waxhaw to design and build an iOS-based (Android is in progress) Historic Walking Tour of Waxhaw’s Downtown Main Street district. Waxhaw has been focused on the revitalization of it’s downtown Main Street area for a number of years. The walking tour is a popular activity in Waxhaw, but to date there was no method in place to measure the popularity of the tour and of individual points on the tour. Because the tour is in the Downtown area, Walking Tour activity could also serve as an indicator for foot traffic levels and other metrics, which is critical information for a town to have when working with businesses looking to start or expand in Waxhaw.
Apptiq built the app during Q2 2016 and deployed approximately 40 beacons outside in Waxhaw. Beacons were placed with permission at a variety of different landmarks – historic homes, business signs, an overhead walking bridge above a busy freight train line, water tower, lamp posts, town-owned street signs, and so forth. To be successful, Apptiq needed to work with home owners, business owners, and other Downtown residents to educate them regarding beacon technology and help them understand how allowing us to place beacons would benefit them and the town. We’re happy to say we did not experience a single denial. As a matter of fact, many of these same people became enthusiastic beta testers. We also worked with a number of visitors to the Waxhaw-area and gathered feedback on how they would like to use our app during their visit. All of these interactions were critical to arriving at the Main Street V1.0 app and there are a slew of great ideas and features in our backlog for upcoming releases.
We learned a lot about the performance, placement, and configuration of beacon technology – specifically outdoors. Our staff came up with a number of solutions for beacon placement when there were not any accessible flat surfaces. We also dealt with the challenges of using radio in an outdoor setting, where sources of interference are constantly changing. We’re looking forward to publishing a number of white papers on our findings in the coming months.
As we’ve just launched today I don’t have much in the way of metrics yet, but as we do, we’ll happily share our experiences. This is a pilot project with a larger deployment to retail, restaurant, and other business in planning. We are also at work on the Android version of the application.
In the bigger picture, Apptiq is working with other municipalities on the East Coast and Midwestern US to bring our Main Street app to their towns and help with their Downtown revitalization efforts. Waxhaw is the first step.
Rob Banker, CEO