Beacon technology has been used repeatedly in the retail space to better engage with smartphone-carrying technology, and now it is being used in the Mumbai slums. This Google-backed beacons project advertise local markets. The Industrial Design Centre, Indian Institute of Technology and Swansea University are also part of the digital project.
With an objective to improve the visibility of Mumbai slums to smartphone users, the project specifically focuses on Dharavi -- one of the biggest slums in Asia. Jewelry, leather products, pottery and textiles can be found there, resulting in a $1 million USD manufacturing and retail sector. The beacons give local merchants the opportunity to compete with giants like Amazon among mobile users.
This is an example of how inexpensive hardware can be used to emerging technologies and help developing communities compete.