Qualcomm Debuts Gimbal Beacons to Track Shoppers [UPDATE]


Editor’s Note: This post has been updated with the following statement from Qualcomm since its original publish date:

“Qualcomm are supporters of Apple and the iOS ecosystem. As a member of the Developer Program, we’re excited about what iBeacon has to offer for Gimbal and look forward to the solutions possible.” 

Apple began deploying its iBeacon technology in retail stores last week, but the iPhone maker isn’t the only company attempting to make the brick-and-mortar shopping experience more interactive. Qualcomm has just announced that its new Gimbal platform, which utilizes Bluetooth Smart to deliver proximity-based notifications to in-store shoppers, is commercially available starting today. 

Qualcomm’s Gimbal platform is contextually aware, which means it will only send shoppers relevant information based on where they are in the store. Qualcomm says Gimbal takes various types of information into account, including physical location, activity, time and personal interests in order to filter out “the irrelevant.” The beacons are accurate down to one foot and work both indoors and outdoors.

MORE: Top 10 Holiday Tech Gifts of 2013

Gimbal supports iOS and Android, but will only be available for iOS upon launch according to Qualcomm. The device itself comes in two flavors– the Series 20 and Series 10 beacons. The larger Series 20 measures 4 x 3.7 x 0.9 inches, while the smaller version is 1.5 x 1.1 x 0.2 inches.

The beacons communicate using Bluetooth Smart, giving the Series 10 an estimated battery life of up to a year depending on use cases, while the Series 20 is said to last between one and three years. Qualcomm also says that the Series 10 beacons can cost as little as $5 per unit and the Series 20 could be priced at $10 each, depending on volume.

The announcement marks just one of several smart shopping efforts to emerge in recent months. In addition to Apple’s iBeacon deployment, Macy’s recently announced a partnership with the Shopkick app that uses location services to track your iPhone in-store. For now, shoppers can try the technology out in the retailer’s New York City and San Francisco stores.

Lisa Eadicicco
Lisa Eadicicco
Lisa has been reporting on all things mobile for Laptopmag.com since early 2013. When she’s not reviewing gadgets, she’s usually browsing patent databases or interviewing experts to track down the hottest tech trends before they even happen. Lisa holds a B.A. in Journalism from SUNY Purchase and has contributed to The International Business Times, The New York Daily News and Guitar World Magazine.
Lisa Eadicicco on
Twitter Google+
Email* (will not be published)
*Indicates required field
Submit Comments

All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options