Why Proximity-Based Technology Works During Social Distancing

We live in ever changing times. Normal has become a bit of a memory as we all strive to find what our new routines are. The COVID-19 outbreak has brought most of us home, indoors, isolated from our regular in-person interactions and regulated to remote communicate primarily via digital mediums. When all this first began my initial thought was, well there goes live events, conferences, concerts, mass gatherings where elistik has primarily found itself a part of. But as things have progressed, these months of social distancing have brought a realization that proximity based solutions have never been more in need. 

Think of your coffee pickup now. If I can validate that you are who you say you are and that you are indeed on premise, the only interaction I, as a business owner, should receive is a simple notification you are here and a mechanism for you to grab your order. Zero face to face interaction required. McDonald’s started this over a year ago with their mobile ordering. With beacons they are able to take the guessing out of the equation for when you arrive and what your order is. 

In a world where we are required to be 6 feet apart, using bluetooth-based technology seems like a wonder fit for sharing and gathering information. Self guided tours, interactive galleries, exploring the outdoors and educating people remotely all have a deep foundation in capturing a nearby audience. 

For the time being at least, we are shifting our mindset away from how to enable a music festival to communicate to 100,000 attendees to how to improve a businesses ability to protect its employees and still engage patrons. If you do not have an app for your business today that is leveraging the power of proximity and the ability to communicate to specific users at specific times, we are here for you. Let us help you re-engage.

2.0 Launch, Discover, and more!

Santa has come early this year!

We are so excited to be launching some amazing new features in 2.0.

* FREE: That’s right… we are opening up the entire application to be used for free. Create any broadcast type and launch to those nearby. Survey or quiz your friends, launch a proximity based chat, handle event logins. All of it directly from your phone. No longer worry about those paid unlocks.

* New branding: While we truly loved our bright pink and blue branding, we also realize that it might be a little intimidating and conflicting for businesses to figure out how their brand would look along side such strong colors. With 2.0 the elistik brand takes a back seat to our broadcasters! We want your content and experience to be the star of the show. We have opted for a clean, minimalistic new design that gives you even more control over the look and feel of elistik. This new look and feel is being added across our entire platform.

* DISCOVER: Speaking of our platform, this is the biggest thing we have added to date. We are now giving our enterprise users the ability to publish content even to those individuals who are not within proximity in our Discover area. This will give you the ability to buy tickets before going to the show, claim coupons in advance, and learn more about what the experience will be like before you walk through the doors.

* New Broadcast Types: There are some amazing new types of content you can publish within each of our primary broadcast types. Within Event you can how do a ticketed event, an event checkin, or an RSVP event. Inside of Promo you will now see Promo Code, Giveaway, and Coupon which gives you the ability to generate an Apple Pass coupon. And last but definitely not least, one of our most flexible broadcast types is within Social, and is called Link. This gives you the ability to have a custom call to action outside of elistik.

This update also contains many improvements behind the scenes and tidying up… but we thought you’d find the info above a little more interesting.

Where we’ve been and where we are headed…

One year ago we launched the 1.0 version of our iOS application. Four of us huddled around computers until the wee hours of the morning pulling together that first submission. It’s amazing what this product and team has been able to accomplish in 12 months. Since that time we’ve had several major releases and literally thousands of builds on both iOS and Android applications. We’ve added enterprise accounts and a web based administration. Features like chats, quizzes, branding customizations have all grown out of the great things we’ve seen our partners and clients doing. We’ve been a part of amazing events – from conferences to baseballs games and have learned so much about the power of what this product can do, and also the potential it has to grow.

As incredible as this first year has been, there are amazing thing on the horizon. This next year elistik will be focused on industry-changing technology and positioning ourself to be a leader for live events and onsite engagement. We want everyone who uses our application at an event to enjoy the experience and to have a deeper connection with it’s host. In December of this year we will be a sponsor of XLIVE Conference in Las Vegas, a leading live event conference and are anticipating connecting with a whole new audience of both potential clients and partners. Along with that, we have some exciting product announcements in these last months of 2018.

In closing, Jeff and I both have to say a huge thank you to the team at elistik – AK, Marc, Matt, Michelle, Robert – you all have done amazing things this year and have put in an amazing amount of sweat to bring this platform to fruition. To our friends and family who have supported us in our late nights, early mornings, and long weekends… you have hustled along side handing out flyers, making introductions, watching children, and helping us gain footing. You are why we strive for success. And last, but by no means least, thank you to some of our early adopters. You have given us direction, been patient, and also given us confidence to grow.

To another year… (Cheers)

– Gabe

1.1.6 is out along with web admin!

We are so excited to announce the release of 1.1.6 that includes a new Survey type called Quiz. With Quiz you can test the knowledge of those nearby but asking them a question and seeing if they can guess the correct answer. It’s never been easier to have people engage in fun trivia or to get a crowd engaged! This release also allows for one-to-one chat so that you can easily get private feedback from those nearby. This is great if you want to provide a way for event attendees to voice concerns and request assistance directly with you. As the one broadcasting the one-to-one, you have the ability to manage multiple conversations all within the broadcast.

Our biggest announcement is around a new web-based administration console for our enterprise clients. Now you can create and manage all of your content, beacons, and more from a desktop. It also gives you a great platform for quickly viewing and accessing those who have interacted with your broadcasts. Contact us to learn more about becoming an enterprise client today!


Introducing the elistik SDK

Utilize elistik within your mobile app with our SDK

We are so excited to announce the launch of the elistik SDK. Now you can leverage our proximity based technology within your application and give it the ability to listen for broadcasts happening nearby. Our first implementation is with an awesome partner, the Louisville Crashers.

The Crashers are one of the biggest live entertainment artists in the midwest, and play for tens of thousands of people every year. They are also known for their amazing interactions with fans throughout their shows, which is why elistik was the perfect partner when it came to considering mobile engagement. Using our new SDK in their new iOS and Android, the Crashers are able to broadcast content at their shows via elistik and have their fans get the notifications within their applications. From picking the next song and playful trivia, to emergency notices and break times, they now can communicate and get feedback from their fans instantly.

Interested in learning more about how elistik can help improve your onsite experience? Contact us today to learn more.



Twitter vs Elistik

Twitter vs Elistik: 6 key differences

How elistik and Twitter differ and how they fit in your digital strategy

elistik offers the ability to broadcast a variety of different types of messages and content to people who are within proximity to each other or to one of our elistik beacons. That being said, there can sometimes be some confusion as to how, why, and when to use elistik vs a Twitter or Facebook post. Understanding the type of broadcasts to use should also be considered. Hopefully with this article we can give some ideas when messages can be used across social platforms and when they should differ.

Okay, so right out of the gate – elistik ON NO LEVEL replaces your social media activity! It should enhance, support, and be a integral part of your strategy. elistik is a powerful and unique tool for your digital and social strategies because of it’s unique broadcast types, but also because of it being a micro-location focused proximity based medium.

In many ways it can bridge the gap between the strictly digital world and the onsite, in person experience. Let’s explore some key differentiators and use cases.

1. Proximity based / onsite validation

elistik provides a platform to communicate directly with your customers while they are onsite or within range of your facility. In contrast to other social media platforms like Twitter, proximity specific messaging are items that are relevant to those on location. For example, a Twitter post for a game might be mentioning the current score of the game. There’s no reason to do that with elistik, since it’s consumers are currently onsite. A more applicable message might be an interesting fact about a player, a piece of trivia in order to win a promotion, or an announcement about concession closing. Proximity based messaging can be an extension of an onsite experience.

2. Filtered and targeted messages

Often social media posts are sent to capture mass attention. We want and need to spread a wide reaching net in this era of digital noise. While elistik allows you to cover a broad net of messaging to those who are nearby, it also allows you to target specific groups of individuals as well. This unique feature allows content creators to give a more personalized experience to those nearby, all within the same application. A very simple use case is having messages that are meant only for employees of any organization. Those individuals are placed into a group, and when selected, broadcasts targeting them will only appear on their devices while they are within proximity. See some ways that this technology is being used to improve the classroom experience.

3. Promotion management

While Twitter can be great for getting the word out about a promotion, elistik will actually help you administer and manage the promotion. One scenario might be using Twitter to let followers know that when they come to your location they can receive a free giveaway. When they get to the location, they can use elistik to claim the promotion and save the pass. The broadcaster can now manage the full redemption of the promotion within elistik, setting quantity limits, and ensuring that only one item per person is given. They gain valuable information from their customers that can be exported after the promotion has ended.

4. Ticketing

elistik can effectively manage events, with ticketing and quantity management. There are a number of ways this can be done. elistik offers the ability to actually create and generate a pass that can be barcode scanned. This can be utilized with promotions and also with events. Furthermore, if existing tickets have already been purchased, ticket holders can be added to a group so that they would be the only people that would be able to access targeted broadcasts.

5. Alerts and messages

Obviously alerts, messages, statuses, and announcements are a huge part of what Twitter is used for. From this perspective, this can be where some overlapping content might be appropriate. News that is relevant to onsite and offsite audience is great to share. Trivia and surveys can also make a lot of sense to share. Urgent messages that need a broad distribution can get duplicate coverage as well. The benefit of this type of messaging on elistik can come into play if you have alerts that are location specific or obviously only relevant to certain groups, as mentioned above. For example, if you need to notify people sitting in Section 237 of an issue, you can isolate your message to only those in proximity of that section vs alarming a larger audience.

6. You own the experience / no noise

Last, but on no means least, one of the best parts of elistik is that there is less competition for your audiences screen. On Twitter you are constantly fighting and sometimes paying to ensure that even your followers see your broadcast. The same can be said about Facebook as well. When your customers are using elistik at your location, their experience is completely defined by you. This will also provide some pressure to create engaging content, but the ability to have 100% focus on your messaging, will make your broadcasting efforts much more effective.

In conclusion…

Now that we have explained some of the similarities and also differences between these powerful tools, let us know your thoughts! How you see elistik fitting into you customer engagement strategy!

Beacon’s Transform Universities into Smart Campuses

Proximity-based apps offering real-time mobile interactions have become mainstream trends, particularly among college students. But contrary to social media outlets, these apps can also be used to enhance the typical college experience, stemming from the organization itself. These technologies have recently begun integrating into the university-sphere as mediums that have the capacity to collect data analytics, improve security measures, optimize internal campus organizations, simplify standard school procedures, and enhance accessibility — just to name a few.

Personalized Campus Tours

Universities tend to offer frequent campus tours year-round, however, in respect to everyone’s time, these tours are often structured in a way that only allows for a general overview of the campus. Tour times are also not always going to be compliant with visitors’ schedules. With beacon-enabled tours, visitors have the freedom to explore the campus on their own time, at their desired pace, while selecting specific spots to discover that are catered to their personal interests.

For example, a high school football player visiting the campus specifically to get a feel of the school’s athletic culture can be redirected to the athletic buildings, gymnasiums, and practice fields, while an aspiring engineer can dedicate their time to touring the math and science buildings.

Augmented Educational Experiences

Universities such as Penn State and University of Oklahoma have implemented a type of learning that extends beyond the classroom. With an augmented learning space, students can explore their campus and dive deeper into nearby surroundings. Hands-on learning experiences such as virtual guides for historical landmarks on campus or within campus collections and educational games, like scavenger hunts that incorporate rewards or check ins, have been put into place, providing a more efficient learning strategy for student comprehension.

Multi-Level Mapping and Campus Navigation

These universities have also initiated beacon technologies that allow students and faculty to navigate areas on campus, ranging from wide scale classrooms, buildings, hotspots, to pinpointing the exact location of a library book. With beacons representing multi-level mapping systems on their smartphones, navigating throughout buildings has never been simpler.

Broadcasting Announcements and Events

Internal campus activities such as club events, greek life, and other forms of social gatherings on campus can be without an email subscription list that might take students a while to check. Broadcasting announcements and messages through phone notifications is a much more direct approach. Students can receive alerts when passing by a building where an interesting talk or an event offering free food is being held and gain an extra experience for their day, while at the same time increasing attendance and success for the event organizers.

Smart Parking

Beacons even have the capacity to identify available parking spots so that precious minutes of roaming around in panic aren’t wasted. They can also project alerts to the driver of whether or not the lot is full before they enter.


Personal finances are always a topic of concern to college students, but job postings can be quite disconnected and difficult to find. Local recruiters and businesses can broadcast open positions that they are looking to fill to the students on campus. Both parties will benefit from the quick connectivity and instant responses.

Data Analysis

Connecting to these apps can allow for instant data collection, capturing further analytics to determine things like which events had the greatest attendance, which areas are the most popular hotspots, as well as gathering user feedback on campus activities. This data can be used by management to review and make improvements within the organization.


Going hand-in-hand with augmented reality accompanied by real-time location properties, turn-by-turn directions can be used to assist campus navigation for the visually impaired. Penn State already has proximity-based mapping apps that help guide students to their desired locations, promoting a safer and more inclusive campus.


Beacons can heighten security measures on campus by replacing and optimizing card swipe procedure into buildings for students and faculty — an idea rapidly being adopted at many hotels to automate guest access into their rooms. During emergencies, such as campus lockdowns or weather drills, locating student positions via heat mapping can easily be done. During certain campus incidents, isolated communication towards targeted areas can often be a more convenient and efficient way to distribute necessary information.

Asset Tracking

Many schools implement some sort of rental system, allowing students in need to borrow items like a bike, camera, or a computer. Some of these management systems work using barcode scanners to scan out items, some have some sort of online database tracker, while others still have someone manually entering in check outs. Beacons can optimize most product management systems currently used at universities.

Perhaps the impact of taking on these foreign measures might seem to make trivial difference, simply cutting out several minutes of your equipment search, but in places like hospitals or even during on-campus emergencies, these minutes could mean life or death.

Bike-Share Organizations

For bike-sharing organizations on campus, beacon apps on smartphones can be used as mini tracking devices for each bike, to locate a lost bike, decrease theft, or to simplify check-in and check-outs. This eliminates the unnecessary step of having to use a barcode scanner in these situations. It can also allow students and faculty to visualize where all inventory is right on their phone.

Library Efficiency

These methods also apply to libraries — instead of constantly locating individual books or desired genres, students can get an overall view of where they need to be and what resources are available. Whenever a student passes by the library, they can also receive notifications reminding them that their book return date is coming up, or that a book they were searching for is now available.

Minimize Congestion

Long lines in the dining hall are almost inevitable at certain hours of the day, but beacon technology can minimize foot-traffic by redirecting students to other dining services upon recognition of heavy congestion.

Especially during study-intensive times like midterms and finals, students often have to scope out several different study areas before finding one with available space. With beacons placed in popular hotspots, students can get notifications prior to entering that the area is too crowded.

Lessen Environmental Footprint

Beacons can be used to connect all forms of electronic devices. Relying on manual power saving is tedious and time-consuming compared to setting campus beacons to shut off the lights and other classroom technologies when the room is empty, enable and disable cameras in specified areas, or trigger classroom PCs to switch to screensaver mode when a professor leaves the area.

Minimal Trade-Offs

A common concern for students is overusing their smartphone’s data plan, however, since beacon technology uses Bluetooth as its medium of connectivity to identify phones within the area, most beacon-based apps do not need internet connection. On top of not needing access to wifi, beacons use a low energy Bluetooth protocol (1-20% of standard Bluetooth power), taking up a “whomping” 1-3% of your phone’s battery life.

Where We Go From Here…

As universities strive to adopt more digital innovations in the pursuit of a smart-campus, beacon technology is one in the front running that can help solve or improve upon current procedures within the organization in a cheap and malleable way, increasing security, connectedness, education techniques, and internal productivity.

Great new features released

Scheduling, Ticketing, Limits, Groups, Chat and more!

Our 1.1 release is now live and we’ve added all kinds of goodies!

Favorites Only

now you can broadcast to just your favorites! Have a ton of connections? No problem, if you want to limit your broadcast to just your favorite people – now you can!

Event Ticketing

events are even better than ever… We’ve added the ability for you to create your own event tickets that work with Apple Wallet!

Schedule Broadcasts

the ability to SCHEDULE broadcasts! Pre-plan your next event or promotion, and have it fire up whenever and wherever you want!

Quantity and Capacity Limits

only want to limit how many people can check in to an event, or limit how many people can claim a promo code? No problem, we’ve added a new limit feature which let’s you make sure only the number of people you want in, get in…

Build Targeting Groups

we’ve added the ability to create groups! Send a broadcast to a special list of people, or invite them to elistik! Only those in your group will see the broadcast!

Highlight Cards

our enterprise users have the opportunity to make their broadcasts really stand out using the new highlight broadcast feature.


we’ve added a new social feature called chat. Fire up a chat broadcast and anyone nearby can join in on the conversation! Or if you want to keep it private, you can do that too!

Unlimited Broadcasts

with our hardware beacons, you can have an unlimited number of broadcasts.

We’ve also polished up around the edges and made things look a little better too.

What’s amazing as we look through this release in retrospect is that really each one of these items are big enough to be a release in and of themselves. Our development wheels have run around the clock over the past few months to truly turn elistik into an elite tool for creating onsite mobile engagement for events. We truly believe you will enjoy… and best of all… we are just getting started! Great things lie ahead.

we’re offering a pot of gold…

Today and tomorrow, Saturday March 17th, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day we are offering all of our in-app purchases and pro-features completely for free! Download the iOS app for free and then unlock social pro, event pro, survey pro, and promo pro. This is a $40 value in total and for people that download these pro features, you will automatically receive the new feature updates that we roll out monthly. Have a wonderful and safe St. Patrick’s and enjoy elistik!

10 Ways Beacon Technology Can Improve the Classroom

A study made by the Washington, DC based organization Project Tomorrow demonstrated that roughly all US middle, high school, and college students have access to a smartphone (with about a third of them issued by their own schools), and over two-thirds of students have access to a laptop. With significant accessibility to smart devices amidst the technological shift in education, beacon technology is an inexpensive and powerful tool that can heighten classroom efficiency, enabling a personalized and unique learning experience.

1. Automated Classroom Activities and Announcements

Schools can dispatch important announcements and reminders to specific classrooms during specific times by implementing a beacon-based scheduling system. Students can receive this information directly to their smartphones upon entering the classroom. With this information at their finger-tips, students can save crucial tasks and due dates onto their calendars and are therefore more likely to see them through.

2. Automated Attendance

Instead of teachers having to manually enter in student roll-call, beacons can be programmed to recognize individuals’ smartphones and record them as present/their headcount. This can reduce errors by reporting exact times that a student walks in and out and cut back on time spent taking attendance.

3. Optimized Organization of Field Trips

During school field trips, students are often allowed to split up and later reconvene at a specified time and location. Using methods similar to the automated attendance procedure, headcounts can be simplified and direct students to the exact meeting point if they happen to oversee the right location.

4. Instant Quizzes

Following a visit to a key historical monument during a field trip, teachers can distribute instant quizzes with automated analytics to challenge knowledge retention of students. This method can also be applied to take the place of in-class clicker quizzes that take dozens of clickers and wasted distribution time.

5. Increased Participation in Evaluations

Schools rely on evaluations of all forms to recognize areas of improvement that need to be made within the courses, dining halls, professors, etc. Evaluation surveys are emailed or can be found after many clicks and redirects on the school website, leaving students less likely to want to fill them out. Beacons can simplify the evaluation procedure and increase urgency by sending out customized evaluation surveys via phone apps.

6. More Accurate Elections

Encouraging students to vote for student representative, policies, or homecoming court can be a tricky task. Voting tends to take place in the form of emails where students can easily miss the deadlines if they don’t check their email regularly enough, or at a designated location that students might not get the chance to stop by. Without a high number of participation, inaccurate representation and unwanted policies could be put into effect. With the simplicity of beacon-based polling, students can receive instant polls and vote at their finger-tips.

7. Imposed Restrictions

Although honor codes are an important aspect in teaching reciprocative respect and integrity between students and the organization, instances of classroom dishonesty still occur. Teachers can set device restrictions on phones in the classroom during tests, or restrict computers to be able to only use the class textbook application during a lesson

8. Eliminate Class Handouts

Teachers give out a lot of course material that can easily be sent out to smart-devices, as they are already digitized. With quick access to an electronic copy of the handout, mass consumption of paper can be decreased and students will have an easier time referring to the documents.

9. Augmented Learning Experiences

In a UBC study, Nobel Prize winning engineering professor Carl Wieman tested different physics classes’ learning retention by having some classes be taught via a traditional lecture-based lesson and others taught using interactive educational activities. The results showed that students scored twice as high from the interactive group than the students who listened to the lecture.

There are many online tools and games that schools are having their students use to learn rather than just have them read a textbook. But with beacons, augmented reality can be programmed to provide an even more kinesthetic and active learning approach, as students can visit specific locations and landmarks to gather information.

10. Energy Savings

Instead of relying on school security or staff to physically check to see if rooms are being used, shut off lights, and lock the doors, beacons can automate the process as they can identify whether or not a student is in the room. Classroom computers can be switched off or put into power saving mode when the professor isn’t within proximity and AC and lighting can be turned off when the last person leaves the room. If a class is cancelled for the day, appliances can remain off from the start.

Getting Started…

With the low cost of physical beacons and the convenience of smartphone connectivity, the options are endless when adapting beacon innovations into the classroom to exemplify the Internet of Things. Elistik offers an affordable means to turn the smallest of classes, groups, or activities into an interactive experience for those that are nearby. Contact us today to learn more.

Written by Michelle Kim, Customer Success Manager, elistik

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