Glimworm Beacons Launches in the Netherlands

First Dutch mass producer of sensors using the new iBeacon platform promises to change the mobile experience forever.

31 JANUARY 2014, AMSTERDAM , NETHERLANDS
Summary
Glimworm IT an award winning App Development company in Amsterdam launched their Beacons business www.glimwormbeacons.com on January the 15th making them the first mass producer in the Netherlands. They teamed up with Tweetonig a 'concept engineering' firm in Rotterdam and Sven-Erik Haitjema a promising young embedded engineer to design and manufacture their own Beacon with a unique twist. As opposed to the now established market leader Estimote, founded in 2012 by ex-Apple staff, the Glimworm Beacons are designed specifically to either “blend in or be branded”. While the Estimote is attractive, it looks like a small, rubber rock sculpture, the Glimworm beacons are white, smooth and glossy with a removable cover that can be manufactured in any color or even custom printed with a logo making it very attractive to brands who want to use the technology as added value to a customer experience.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands- January 31, 2014 - If you don't know what a Beacon is, don't worry, you will. Soon they will be everywhere, little devices that use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology and the Apple iBeacon protocol that enables beacons to send signals to your smart phone up to 50 meters away. A recent rival to Near Field Communication (NFC) the iBeacon technology was integrated into the recent Apple iOS 7 update and works on iPhones starting with the 4s and late model Anroid phones and is bound to change the way you use your smart phone for just about everything by enabling super hot App trends like “geo-fencing, contextual messaging, proximity marketing and card-less payments.

Enter Glimworm IT an award winning App Development company in Amsterdam who launched their Beacons business www.glimwormbeacons.com on January the15th making them the first mass producer in the Netherlands. They teamed up with Tweetonig a 'concept engineering' firm in Rotterdam and Sven-Erik Haitjema a promising young embedded engineer to design and manufacture their own Beacon with a unique twist. As opposed to the now established market leader Estimote, founded in 2012 by ex-Apple staff almost immediately after the iBeacon announcement, the Glimworm Beacons are designed specifically to either “blend in or be branded”. While the Estimote is attractive, it looks like a small, rubber rock sculpture, the Glimworm beacons are white, smooth and glossy with a removable cover that can be manufactured in any color or even custom printed with a logo making it very attractive to brands who want to use the technology as added value to a customer experience.

Imagine walking into a store and receiving a welcome message on your smart phone then when you get closer to what you are looking for a coupon appears. When you go to the check out counter you use the coupon, pay with your phone and an app gives you loyalty points automatically and thanks you when you leave. A seamless stream of information appears at all at the right places at the right time- just for you. This sort of integrated brick and mortar meets mobile shopping experience is what iBeacon technology is all about and it will change the way we receive information and interact with the things around us.

The impact of this new technology will be massive and has many applications which extend far from large retail outlets and grocery stores where they are beginning to deploy Beacons in the United States. Shopkick has started a 100 store trial in the US and Apple themselves have rolled out to all their US based Apple stores. There are interactive gaming possibilities which are being explored by game companies and creative agencies, and the potential for museums, tourism, education, transportation, mobile payments systems and even super hi-tech industrial applications is huge.

“We are only beginning to explore the possibilities” says Jonathan Carter CTO of Glimworm who hosted the first iBeacon Discovery Day in co-operation with developer community Appsterdam on January 11 where they brought together 40 developers to test the first ten prototypes. To explore possibilities and limitations they gave the developers specific challenges like “Create a Museum App using Beacons” and documented the event in a short video (just search for iBeacon Discovery day in YouTube) that shows the atmosphere on the day as well as App demos and interviews with industry leaders talking about the future of iBeacons.

For more information about Gimworm Beacons and the iBeacon Discovery Day go to their website www.glimwormbeacons.com where they are now taking pre-orders and expect to ship in early April 2014. The website also offers single Beacons with 3-D printed cases for early delivery especially for developers who can't wait to get their hands on one

Quotes
"We are just beginning discover the potential to effectively change the way we shop, travel, learn and socialize. This technology is going to change they way we relate to objects, locations and people, The impact is going to be huge." Paul Manwaring Co-founder and Creative Director at Glimworm
"It was a deliberate choice for our product to be as open as possible. In my opinion collaboration is the key to today's most successful products and I like that. Most other vendors are aiming for some kind of lock-in but that is definitely not our style. " Jonathan Carter Co-founder and CTO at Glimworm
"We came up with an enclosure specially designed to blend in most of the environments where you can use it. We took the curves from the negative space that your hand makes when it lays flat. These curves combined with the high gloss finish gives the beacon a very natural look. A look that also can easily be branded with a small logo or even be produced in custom colors to make a complete branded experience. That's the way we meant it to be. " John Tillema Co-founder and Industrial Designer at Tweetonig
"It was immediately clear to use injection molding for the enclosure. We made the most out of this method with smart snappings for the PCB and with the signal LED will glow through the housing instead of breaking it with a hole. Combine this with the more complex two separate colored covers and you know this is a high end product. " Dimer Schaefer Co-founder and Industrial Designer at Tweetonig
"Beacons will definately change the way we use our smartphones and revolutionize interaction forever! " Sven-Erik Haitjema Co-founder and Embedded Systems Engineer
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About Glimworm Beacons - iBeacon compatible sensors

About Glimworm Beacons

Glimworm Beacons is the Netherlands first mass producer of iBeacon compatable sensors.  In January of 2014 we launched with our first beacon which differed from the competition in that is is Secure with a 6 digit PIN code; has easy access to a replaceable battery and has an elegant, high gloss design that can be customized.  In April 2014 we successfully implemented an industry first iBeacon enabled iPad Game- Mission Eureka-  with the experience company Northern Light for the Philips Museum in Eindoven.  By August 2014 we secured our position among the top 5 beacon manufacturers in the world and hosted the first Dutch iBeacon hackathon with partners Sanoma Media.  Recently, we began producing USB powered beacons for industrial use and are currently prototyping multi sensor and cloud managed beacons maintaining our position as market leaders.  Among our partners we are prod to include The Telegraaf Media Group, KPMG, DHL4U Netherlands, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, Veolia Transportation, Royal BAM Group, The Europeana Foundation- Europe's Digital Library and Public Service Broadcasters NTR and AvroTros and The Cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

Glimworm beacons is a co-operation between Glimworm IT of Amsterdam, and Tweetonig of Rotterdam and Sven-Erik Haitjema.

Below are the company and personal profiles:

Glimworm IT

Since 2000 Glimworm IT has been innovating with one goal in mind- make the web fast, easy and affordable for everyone. We began with Firefly, our own web content management system, building website and enabling organizations across industry sectors. Over the years have build a large client base from the very small to the very large who all have one need in common- a partner they can trust to help them communicate in a rapidly changing world.

Now we have the mobile web, smart phones, apps, big data and the Internet of things (IOT) and so we adapt, we change and grow, building new services and products that create value for ourselves our clients and the public. Weather it’s an award winning app like Vistory or ParkShark, a simple WordPress website or IOT innovations like the Heathy Life Lamp or iBeacons, we still have the same commitment- make technology work for everybody; solve big problems with simple and effective ideas and always- time and time again- make it fast, easy and affordable for everyone.

Sven-Erik Haitjema

Sven is a talented embedded systems engineer. He has worked a satellite currently orbiting earth, built creative solutions for marble tracks and now takes on the adventure of beacons.

As an Embedded Systems Engineer, he works with the latest developments that are at the heart most modern day devices.

Although a strong theoretical background is necessary, Sven enjoys working with 3d printers,

PCB mills and soldering irons, these are all tools that make it possible to convert theory into exciting practice

Tweetonig

Tweetonig is a multidisciplinair design office. Our work varies from industrial to hardware design. Everything, as long as we enjoy doing it.

Our masterplan is easy: Only fun things to do, for the rest of our lives. Only 1 problem, we enjoy doing too many things.

‘Tweetonig’ is a made up Dutch word. It translates literally to ‘duotone’, a variaton of the Dutch word “eentonig” which means monotonous and is often used synonymously to boring.

Thing we enjoy, and our clients enjoy us doing, are concept development, product design, prototype and best of all, prepare and escort mass production. As real engineers we always have things like “easy assembly”or “better for mass production” in our heads.

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