A pair of entrepreneurs who won Fresno’s 59 Days of Code competition last year are taking their project to the streets – literally – by enabling business clients to do hyper-local marketing to smartphone-wielding customers who are already in the immediate vicinity.
Matt Tymn and Nick Gundry, partners in One Sense LLC (https://onesense.io/), describe One Sense as a software platform that provides a customizable smartphone app for businesses, schools or communities to promote to customers, students or visitors. On the back end, the One Sense platform uses location-based technology such as Bluetooth.
Beacons use Bluetooth technology to communicate with nearby smartphones, monitoring how customers move through stores, schools or communities and pushing notifications to phone users with location-specific information.
Bluetooth beacons – which the pair say is a recent innovation in proximity technology – can sense when a smartphone equipped with the app comes within range and sends location-specific information to the user’s phone.
“We are constantly on our phones, and we want short, sweet pieces of information,” Gundry said. “When we’re in a specific location, we want to find out more about what’s relevant around us.”
The app is designed to “give people quick and easy interactions and to access those local businesses very quickly,” he added.
Among the first One Sense clients who will go live on the platform this fall are Downtown Fresno Partnership and Fresno State. In the downtown district, Tymn said the partnership’s branded “(re)Discover” app “will give visitors a firsthand look at the ins and outs of the history of the city, what to see, where to eat and more, all in real time, using a combination of geolocation and beacons.”
At Fresno State, the university’s new “Campus” app is designed for beacons to send notifications to students’ smartphones for such bits of information such as reminders to access class notes when they go into their classroom, details about special campus events and offers on textbooks or other products at the university bookstore.
“We’re focused on the idea that the end user is having a relationship” with Fresno State, Downtown Fresno or other One Sense clients whose app has been downloaded, Gundry said.
We are constantly on our phones, and we want short, sweet pieces of information. When we’re in a specific location, we want to find out more about what’s relevant around us.
Nick Gundry, One Sense LLC partner
In addition to messaging would-be customers, the geolocation technology of multiple beacons can also monitor how consumers or visitors navigate in a store, around a campus or across a city, providing a potential goldmine of analytics for One Sense clients. That data on consumer behavior helps businesses “look at understanding their customers better and provide better services moving forward.”
One Sense has a two-pronged business model: Marketing the platform behind the app as an ongoing product for businesses, gathering the content off the client’s existing website and pushing it into the One Sense platform, then providing the customer with analytics; and working with clients as a professional services provider to develop their own branded, customized app powered by One Sense for both Apple iOS and Android devices.
There is a potentially broad market for the concept, Tymn said.
“We’re looking at identifying markets where we think we fit best,” he said. “Fresno’s a given becasue we’re here. But we’re also looking at the Midwest, places where we have ties, like Indianapolis or Denver. We’re looking for forward-thinking cities, cities that are leading the charge in innovation.”
Currently located in the Bitwise Industries Mural District technology hub at San Joaquin and L streets, at the northern edge of downtown Fresno, Gundry and Tymn said they will be moving later this year into the new Workspace collaborative/creative space being developed on two floors of the Pacific Southwest Building on the Fulton Mall.