Blog skyhook logo Not All Geofences Are Created Equal - Here’s Why

Feb 22, 2017 8:30:00 AM

Not All Geofences Are Created Equal - Here’s Why

Posted by Skyhook

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The use of location intelligence has skyrocketed over the last few years. According to Pitney Bowes, more than 80% of data maintained by organizations worldwide has a location component. There are a wide variety of uses for location intelligence -- customer analytics, geofencing, user experience, advertising and marketing campaigns, safety and security -- to name a few.

As the market for location matures, organizations are starting to identify new and creative ways to utilize geofencing. Applications can range from pure location analytics and data collection to delivering a dynamic location-based user experience.  

Why Accuracy in Location is Necessary

These new applications have one common thread: the need for highly accurate geofencing. Skyhook has long identified the benefits and requirements for these new use cases and is now seeing marketers, app developers, and product managers who want to make these experiences a reality -- both to increase user engagement and to create new monetization opportunities. Our Context Whitepaper also dives deeper into how Skyhook delivers highly accurate geofencing and some of the new use cases made possible as a result.

Context is designed to help marketers improve user experience, gather both behavioral insights and competitive information, and measure in-store visit attribution.  Key features include:

  • The ability to monitor not only proximity to a venue, but capture when consumers actually walk into a store.
  • Geofence specific shapes (illustrated below) -- unlike traditional geofencing which simply draws a circle around a place of interest, often with a buffer of up to 100 meters.
  • Immediately recognize a store’s unique identity (such as “Walmart” or “Starbucks”), based on Wi-Fi signals.  Allowing you to accurately determine that a user is actually inside a specific store.  

In addition to the geofencing functionality, Context helps improve user experience by minimizing battery drain.  The SDK has been tested to show <1% smartphone battery drain per hour.  

The following images provide a visual comparison of traditional geofencing and store visit detection with Context.  The key difference is Skyhook’s ability to use signal intelligence to confirm when a user is physically inside a venue with the new Venue Lock feature in Context.


  • Traditional geofencing utilizes point-and-radius methodology for geofenings
  • Traditional geofences capture activity in within a predetermined range of location 


With Context, marketers can monitor proximity to a venue AND the exact moment when consumers cross the threshold of a store.

To learn more about use cases made possible through Skyhook Context download our whitepaper.