Kontakt Is The White Label of Bluetooth LE Beacons
The Bluetooth LE beacons by Kontakt have become our go-to war horse: solid, dependable devices that are billed as the ‘white label solution’ for iBeacons.
One of the amazing things about beacons is how many non-developers want to get their hands on the little devices and play around with them. This has led to some confusion: there’s an idea, for example, that the beacons themselves somehow deliver content. (Check out our overview of what a beacon solution actually looks like).
Services like LocalSocial or Swirl bridge the gap by providing retail-focused solutions that just work. But what they gain in ease-of-use they lose for those of us who want to tinker with our beacons or create unusual use cases.
Along comes Kontakt which provides simple back-end tools for managing your beacons and an intuitive interface for pushing out simple forms of content. You can either use Kontakt beacons as they are or link them up to the back-end system and play around with pushing out content.
They might not be an out-of-the-box solution for a small retailer, but they’re a solid place to start even for the least experienced developer.
Back-End Solution Includes Content Management
It’s qualitative but one of the things we like about Kontakt is their workmanlike approach. While other beacon providers spend a lot of time on branding and window dressing, Kontakt can best be thought of as their non-flashy cousin. Our interactions with Szymon Niemczura, Co-Founder and CEO have given us a good idea of why: he’s enthusiastic and solutions-driven, and his attitude infects the engineering-focused approach of the Kontakt team.
Kontakt has been slowly and quietly building out its back-end systems. While still simple, it provides a quick way to set up your beacons and take them for a test drive without needing to do a lot of coding (if any).
Their latest tutorial takes you behind the scenes. The Kontakt control panel has a few functions:
- Assigning your beacons to your app
- Assigning your beacons to a ‘venue’
- Loading content that represents both the venue and the individual beacons (including different content for near/immediate and far ranging)
But one of the things we really like about Kontakt isn’t it’s simple and serviceable back-end for content management, it’s the RESTful API library with its clean documentation and JAVA, JSON and PHP client libraries.
Szymon tells us that they’re geared to producing beacons at scale – and have options for custom cases (and even 3D printing in the pipeline so you can create your own case shapes and designs).
But with their simple back-end system and powerhouse beacons, you don’t need to be deploying 1,000 beacons to get great value out of Kontakt…another addition to an amazing ecosystem of beacons, hardware and supporting services.