Merchant Innovation

Gimbal Rolls Out USB-Powered Proximity Beacons

Gimbal, a mobile technology company based in San Diego, said Tuesday (July 7) that it is launching a Bluetooth Smart (low energy) beacon for use across a variety of devices.

The company said in a release that the hardware, titled the Gimbal Proximity Beacon U-Series 5, adds beacon functionality across what might be termed traditional shopping environments — such as point-of-sale terminals and vending machines — but also USB ports used in computers, set-top boxes and televisions.

Gimbal said in the release that the latest beacon is its smallest to date and also features a battery-free option alongside security and management tools. Within security features, the U-Series 5 does not in fact have USB data lines connected to the device, and Gimbal says that this feature enables the device to be “safely” plugged into a USB port in, say, a computer, ATM or retail shopping device with no risk toward either sending or receiving what might be viewed as sensitive data.

“The main benefit of the USB form factor is the flexibility our customers now have to enable their existing devices with beacon functionality. Packaging it in a small, battery-free option allows for hassle-free maintenance and makes the solution additionally attractive for large deployments,” said Kevin Hunter, who serves as chief operating officer of Gimbal, in the release.

“U-Series 5 beacons provide an easy and affordable solution to engage mobile audiences and bring proximity-based technology to an even broader footprint to further bridge the digital and physical worlds.”

Gimbal said in the statement that it will sell the devices through its website. The company also said in the release debuting the U-Series 5 beacon on Tuesday that it has earned TRUSTe certification for consumer-controlled privacy of data.


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