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How Neatebox connected Edinburgh’s past and present


Technology offers a huge opportunity to businesses looking to enhance their customer experience. Here’s how Neatebox used Bluetooth to bring the rich history of the Royal Mile to life.

3 min read, Article
Looking down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh

Neatebox’s CEO, Gavin Neate, didn’t always picture the company’s future as something that would play a role in one of Scotland’s best-known tourist attractions. Originally, Neatebox started out as a way to help people with disabilities to cross the road safely, however Gavin soon saw the potential his product had for other contexts too.

Neatebox works by using Bluetooth chips that are placed out in the real world, which then communicate with their own app to let the user know certain information. This idea obviously had a lot of potential beyond its original scope and it wasn’t long before Edinburgh Council were in on Gavin’s idea of how to make tourism in the city more ‘inclusive’.

The idea was simple; the same mobile app and Bluetooth beacons that Neatebox had used help people with disabilities safely cross the road, would also be able to be used to tell the stories behind various locations of historic significance on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. Stories linked to the exact spot you’re standing on! It’s a personal historian, taking you on a walking tour full of the stories from the city’s past. With 27 points of interest on the Royal Mile, the app (called ‘Edinburgh Up-Close’) not only offers a great experience for tourists, but would also allow businesses to measure dwell-time and offer a LITTLE something extra.

Neatebox works on Bluetooth Low Energy, so it doesn’t require users to have a Wi-Fi connection or to use their mobile data. All the content is stored in the app and activated when the user’s in the relevant location. Best of all, it’s accessible and in real time – plus, it’s available as text, audio, or in sign language.

Innovative uses of existing technology like this can really work wonders for your business in terms of reaching new customers and getting across an up-to-date edge to your profile.

Has this article given you some food for thought on the next big idea for your tourism company? Why not get in touch with us to discuss it? We may be able to offer advice or pointers to help you make it happen.

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