Maximizing the Benefits from Geofencing Applications

Geofencing technologies are gaining traction in sectors like marketing and retailing because sending the right message at the right place to potential customers can ensure that the message is relevant and likely to be appreciated. Recently, new Geofencing services including Geotrigger by Esri helps developers add real-time location-based messaging and intelligence to iPhone and Android applications, lifting the benefits of Geofencing to a new level.

Real-time tracking by Geofencing applications allows for deeper understanding of the movement patterns of users.

Real-time tracking by Geofencing applications allows for deeper understanding of the movement patterns of users.

By definition, Geofencing is a technology that defines a virtual boundary around a real-world geographical area. In doing so, a radius of interest is established that can trigger an action in a geo-enabled phone or other portable electronic devices. The action can be an email or a text message sent to a user’s mobile phone. We can find examples of Geofencing applications everywhere, such as:

Self-Guided Tour

As people explore a city, campus, or other similar area, they will receive a notification with information about a point of interest each time they enter the area. This kind of self-guided tour brings public attractions to life.

Child Care

A text message will be automatically sent to a user's cell phone when that user's child arrives home from school. The geofence would be the virtual geographic boundary surrounding the user’s house and the geofence-enabled apps on the child’s mobile phone will be triggered to send the message to the user once the child enters the boundary.

Content Restriction

A Geofencing application can allow or deny a user the access to content depending on whether they are in a designated location like an office or a hospital. It is useful for security or administration purposes. In this case, the Geofencing application would not send a notification to a user’s device, but instead a callback to the application’s server to toggle access to content based on the location of the user.
With Geotrigger Service, notifications are pushed to users upon crossing a geofence.

With Geotrigger Service, notifications are pushed to users upon crossing a geofence.

Embracing the benefits of Geofencing, the Geotrigger Service by Esri is targeted to be used by developers to easily add location awareness to mobile applications. The service is cloud-based and does not require ArcGIS Server or embedded devices to run. Mobile applications using the Geotrigger SDKs and API can send targeted location-based messages when users enter or leave geofence locations the developer specifies. The service can also send information to servers or actions directly to the apps, allowing developers to create an immersive experience by dynamically integrating location-based content. Its advantages include:

Faster development

The Geotrigger Service saves developers’ time and keep them away from frustrations. Its consistent interface means faster development of both iOS and Android apps, and its built-in tracking profiles based on different user cases can help to keep developers from managing trivial details such as how frequent for an application to check GPS.

Save battery life

GPS checks help to improve the performance of Geofencing action triggering but use more battery power of devices. So it is important to get the right balance of the accuracy of positioning service and battery life. Battery life management is a built-in function of the Geotrigger Service and developers can choose one of the three tracking profiles that best fits their app’s need. Therefore battery drain is less likely to occur based on the mechanism.

Enhancing core location services

The Geotrigger Service greatly enhances iOS and Android’s native geofencing features, like the ability to create complex polygon geofences and to notify other servers and services when triggers are fired.

In summary, there is a whole world of opportunities for location-based services, from stores wishing to engage customers, to cities wishing to send civic alerts, local event information, or information for tourists. By utilizing Geofencing technologies like Esri Geotrigger Services, sky is the limit for enterprises and organizations to develop innovative applications and capture optimal opportunities.

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