BlueVertise was the first italian bluetooth advertising solution.
It gave big attention from media and customers, a large number of use case was proposed and sucessfully tested in shopping center, train stations, cinemas and many others.
BlueVertise born in 2005 when I realized that many of mobile phones was equipped with bluetooh with support of OBEX and Obex Push Profile (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OBject_EXchange). With this protocol a mobile phone was able to receive some data from a sender informing the user of the incoming connection and asking it wether to accept or reject the incoming data.
I addressed many technical challenges making BlueVertise, at the time the standard bluetooth stack delivered with Microsoft Windows was really limited and many OEM were typical supply their custom stack and drivers. Many USB dongles was able to work with standard Windows stack and many others not, so the choices was:
1. Use a custom stack and work only with dongles supporting it
2. Use Microsoft stack and searching all the dongles working with it
I chose the second one, custom stack was expensive (SDK were sold and not for few cents) and subjected to early extinction.
After the Windows version I made a Linux version of BlueVertise, this was more advanced of the firs one. It used zeroconf (aka Bonjour) protocol to discover other Linux boxes running BlueVertise in the same network to make a BlueVertise advertise network (zeroconf DNS SRV registration for network protocol is still here).
Meanwhile iPhone and followers were rapidly gains the market and removed support for Bluetooh OBEX killing slowly the bluetooth proximity marketing.
Today there are some new protocols that could take in place of bluetooth OBEX, some are:
- iBeacon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBeacon)
- WiFi Direct (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-Fi_Direct)
None of them are wide adopted and , like OBEX, aren’t specifically mean for proximity marketing but there are good chances that proximity marketing will return in a near future.