IoT Design Shop Introduces the Personal Beacon System

The Internet of Things is hot, and there’s no shortage of hype. In fact according to Gartner’s 2014 Hype Cycle Special Report IoT now tops what Gartner calls the “peak of inflated expectations.”  Sorry big data nerds you’ve been officially pushed into the “trough of disillusionment.” The Internet of Things officially tops of the hype cycle.

Vancouver’s IoT Design Shop (previously featured in BetaKit) is working to get beyond the hype by introducing Signul, which they’re suggesting is the world’s first personal consumer iBeacon solution.

Combining Signul with the smartphone app you’ll be able to launch Spotify when getting into your car or walking into your house. You’ll be telling your Lockitron to open the front door, or sending friends a message or even Tweet them that you’ve just locked up and are on the way.

Retailers are using iBeacons as a way to deliver offers to their customers inside of stores, and sports venues are using them to deliver companion mobile experiences and even automate food ordering within an arena or stadium. IoT Design Shop is using the same technology for individuals with location-based automation.

“We’ve come up with some interesting use cases for Signul based on our own lives, and we know we’ve only touched on a small number of ways that people are going to use this technology,” said Graham Cunliffe, Director of Business Development at IoT Design Shop. “While retailers and companies have started implementing iBeacon technology in massive installations, we’ve got the first complete solution that will enable consumers to use this exciting technology to accomplish everyday tasks. Ultimately, iBeacons can streamline many routine things, but more than that, they offer the ability to control the technology we love in new ways.”

In order to put the hardware through the regulatory certification process (FCC and CE) and to tool up the injection moulding process for super-pro Signul enclosures. Certification is the most important thing since needed to legally sell the device. The IoT Design Shop recently launched an Indigogo campaign to help with this last phase of product development. They topped the $25,000 campaign goal in only three days. There’s still lots of time to claim yours and be one of the first own one early next year.



I spoke with company President & CTO Trent Shumay, asking why did you choose a consumer versus a business application for this product?

“We already provide the platform that powers Signul on the B2B market and something we noticed was that there were no consumer-focused beacon products out there. If you wanted a product that used beacons, you had to build it, because most of the other beacon companies are aiming for developers, not end users. For us it was really about recognizing that a massive opportunity existed to create a more personal, tailored experience for users where they get to use beacons to do things they want.”


What were the key signals that helped give you the green light to this decision to launch?

“We’ve been working on Signul for about 6 months. Once we had it to a working state, we found that virtually everyone we showed it to could think of something they would like to have Signul do. This is really exciting, but also really challenging – because it’s definitely a variety of different ideas and applications not just a handful of use cases. We set out to create an extremely simple way to give people a way to make Signul do what they want. As we got more traction against that goal, we became more confident that this is something we wanted to launch.”

What do you see as the biggest opportunities for this platform beyond this first iteration?

“We see SDK and API integrations being huge both in terms of us integrating other API’s, such as home automation and systems like IFTTT and in terms of us exposing a SDK to allow other developers to take advantage of the Signul feature set. The biggest opportunity is probably something we haven’t even conceived of yet. Our early adopters are giving us a ton of feedback on Indiegogo and Erli Bird and we’re dedicated to continuing to create new integrations and ways for them to use Signul.”

The opportunities for integrating Signul into your life will only limited by how much of it you can or want to automate today.


John Gray

John Gray is the co-founder and CEO of Mentionmapp. As a writer, John cares about keeping the humanity in our stories and conversations about technology. He has a B.Ap.Sc. in Communications and a B.A. in English, both from Simon Fraser University.

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