You walk out of one shop and are alerted of a store offering 10 percent off one block away. Maybe you’re ready for lunch and your phone suddenly buzzes with a $5-off deal at a nearby restaurant. The new app Beamcast is making it possible to know before you go. How amazing would it be to know about all the coupons and deals to stores and businesses you are close to?
Completely free, locally developed, and steadily growing, Beamcast offers residents of St. George a totally new way to shop. If you’re a smart shopper you are always looking for deals, discounts and sales. Because really, why pay more?
The app uses iBeacon technology, which was created by Apple. A Bluetooth beacon emits signals from businesses you are close to and sends them straight to your smartphone. Services can also place the Bluetooth in your car; so, you can always discover a great deal when you’re out and about town. Beamcast is the first app in Utah to use this growing technology, owner and developer Nate Jacobson said. He had a vision to connect people with local businesses with one easy app.
“I wanted to create a universal app that included all businesses,” Jacobson said. “I hated having to download separate apps for separate businesses.”
Unlike GPS, Beamcast can be customized to suit your interests. The app allows users to select the types of businesses they want to see and receive alerts about. Categories include automotive, pets, hotels and travel, shopping, and food and beverage, among many others. With one touch of the finger, the app lists all the local deals on a scroll page for easy viewing. The “nearby” option lets you visually see where the deals are around you. A rewards system is currently in development and will be available for users soon. New features will include “buy one get one free” coupons, and digital punch cards for businesses including restaurants that resemble those many businesses use – except it’s nearly impossible to lose the digital punch card and the Beamcast app will do the work for you.
“The one really cool thing about iBeacon is it works on a personal basis,” Jacobson said, “so if somebody comes into a store more than once, the app will recognize that and reward deals.”
Over 60 local businesses are now connected with Beamcast and the number is steadily growing. The types of businesses and deals vary greatly, ranging from restaurants to retailers, oil changes to massages, and coffee deals to golf discounts.
Examples of St. George businesses already using the app include Krave Frozen Yogurt, Bear Paw Café, Planet Fitness, StGeorgeMassage.com, and Riverside Auto. There are many more. Along with coupons and deals, Beamcast allows you to see local events.
The Beamcast app has been out for four months and the growth has been tremendous. Jacobson said he hopes to expand the app to other areas of the state in the near future as well as to continue developing the technology to offer even more ways for users to save money and connect locally.