We’ve learned that the Chicago Transit Authority is planning an expanded pilot test of beacon technology in partnership with Titan, New York transit-based traditional and digital out-of-home advertising company, in order to explore the benefits of beacon technology for transit authorities, consumers and brands
A secure, closed network of Gimbal Bluetooth Smart beacons will be installed at an undisclosed number of rail stations throughout the City of Chicago, where Titan manages the station’s bus and rail media assets.
The test will seek to understand:
- How beacon technology can be used in transit stations to help the CTA better communicate with its riders;
- How beacon technology can enhance current CTA technologies, like Bus Tracker and Train Tracker;
- How brands can increase engagement with consumers based on their proximity;
- The consumer benefits from a way-finding, informational and brand-perspective.
No personalized data will be collected through the test. Similar to GPS, beacons send out a signal to mobile devices that have apps that are built to work with the technology. For a beacon to detect a mobile phone, the owner must download an app that uses the Gimbal technology and opt-in to allow beacons to engage with the app.
“The CTA regularly explores new technologies for all facets of our operations, looking for ways to better serve the millions of riders who utilize CTA on a weekly basis,” says Michael Gwinn, director of revenue and fare systems, Chicago Transit Authority.
“As a leader in working with municipalities and transit authorities, Titan is always testing new technologies that will not only benefit our customers but the millions of people that have access to our out-of-home, place-based displays,” says Dave Etherington, chief strategy officer, Titan. “We believe that beacon technology is a major step in helping cities become more connected and deliver a great experience to its residents and visitors. We look forward to working with the CTA to understand the benefits of this technology and are committed to conducting the test in a transparent, open manner to eliminate privacy concerns.”
CTA and Titan will use Gimbal beacons, which:
- Cannot ‘see’, ‘collect’ or ‘store’ anything (including consumer information). They operate in a transmit mode somewhat similar to GPS and are transmit-only devices;
- Only work if a user downloads and opts-in to an app that has the Gimbal technology embedded;
- Do not track or monitor what a consumer does on his/her phone;
- Follow best-practices for privacy and have earned TRUSTe’s certification for consumer-controlled privacy at the app level.
Titan furnishes national and local clients with creative media solutions in 46 North American markets including many of the country’s Top 10 DMAs.