BrightSign Partners With BlueFox On WiFi-Sensing Retail Analytics

BrightSign is the latest digital signage-focused company to build analytics into its offer, though it is via partnership and done a little differently than some other companies in the ecosystem.

The Silicon Valley-based Roku spinoff BrightSign has integrated BlueFox’s WiFi sniffing technology into its range of digital signage media players. The pitch for what’s touted as BlueFox for BrightSign is that it enables optimization of digital signage messaging and increases display ROI by measuring real-time customer engagement.

The BlueFox platform looks for and anonymously tracks smartphones, with WiFi enabled, that come within range of a BrightSign box.

BlueFox technology, says a press release, enables BrightSign media players to detect nearby mobile phones without the need for special apps, login or beacon. BlueFox’s patented technology does not provide any identifiable personal information and is compliant with privacy regulations across the globe, such as the European GDPR.

“BlueFox’s ability to count new and returning visitors, along with dwell time, by honing-in on the smartphone and not the individual, is a natural extension of our mission to enable digital signage with technology that’s valuable to our retail customers,” says BrightSign CEO Jeff Hastings. “Adding BlueFox foot-traffic analytics as an option to our media players is an important addition to the BrightSign value proposition, and we expect our customers to eagerly embrace this new technology.”

WiFi-based analytics platforms are by no means new or unique to digital signage, but of the tech marketed to date for providing audience insights has been based around camera systems that do video analytics, starting way back with Video Mining, TruMedia and the old Cognovision (Intel bought them).

The pitch with WiFi based system is the elimination of the need and cost of cameras. BlueFox says its signal detection solution, unlike competitive offerings, detects customers’ phones even when Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities are disabled.

“Our proprietary technologies around advanced smartphone signal detection make it possible for BlueFox to assess foot traffic much more accurately than camera or beacon-based solutions,” says BlueFox CEO Guillaume de la Tour, whose company has French roots but is now based, like BrightSign, in the San Francisco area. “Measuring the customer journey effectively provides retailers with actionable data, and that’s a real value.”

Pricing for BlueFox for BrightSign starts at just $98 per unit annually, which using my advanced command of mathematics is about $8 a month. There is a basic version and premium one that adds more data, like unique visitor count, frequency and traffic flow.

The solution is just in private beta at the moment, with a public release planned for December.

The announcement comes on the heels of NEC and YCD both recently announcing analytics capabilities, and quite word that ComQi is working with a Taiwan partner to offer retail insights. Other companies also offer solutions, and the big dog in the space, STRATACACHE, acquired a Finnish company that specializes in the tech.

Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than 12 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Halifax, Nova Scotia.
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