Google’s initiative to BLE Beacons
Recently, on 14th July 2015, Google rolled out ‘Eddystone’, which is an open-source BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) beacon format. This new platform is anticipated to give tough market competition to Apple’s iBeacons, which proved to be one of the hottest tech-trend in 2014.
Talking about BLE beacons, they are battery-powered, compact hardware devices that leverage Bluetooth technology to connect with compatible device, which can be smartphones and tablet, when found in close vicinity. Retails can use beacons to update their customers about offers and discounts once they enter into their store. However, this is just one of the many benefits of beacons, there can be many.
Cross-Platform Support and Real-word Usability
Google’s Eddystone is primarily designed to help app developers communicate different devices nearby and provide users with location-specific information directly on their smartphones or tablets.
However, what makes Eddystone outshine its apple’s beacon counterpart is its cross-platform compatibility. Yeah, you heard me right. Eddystone can work across Android, iOS and any other platform supporting BLE beacons.
Any beacon manufacture can make their hardware in compliance to our open-source beacon format via a simple firmware upgrade. The company is also working close with many beacon manufacturers to ensure extensive support for Eddystone. What’s more, They are also providing a solution to organize a stack of beacons proficiently.
Bringing location-specific information available at your fingertips
The launch of Eddystone is aimed to help developers build more contextual apps. For example, a beacon featured bus-stop can update people standing at the bus-stop with transit time directly to their handsets; provide buyers with an event ticket barcode once they reach the venue; update people about the information for the items available for the exhibition at the museum when standing at the place.
There is no doubt that Eddystone is Google’s game-winning launch for Apple’s iBeacon technology. While Eddystone can perform everything iBeacons can do, and even embrace some more useful applications to it. Eddystone is an entirely new technology of broadcasting BLE data using beacons.
It offers a secure connection TOO!
Addressing the security concern, Eddystone offers a way for beacons to establish a private connections with specific individuals. Unlike the traditional method of generating a unique identification code, Google has developed a particular system named ‘EID (Ephemeral Identifiers)’ that enable beacons to broadcast a single which can be identified by permissible clients only.
“EIDs will help people do things like searching for their luggage once they step-off the flight or can help searching for lost important keys”, says Chandu Thota, Engineering Director at Google Inc.
Walking an extra mile to help app developers
On top of all, Google is also releasing a new set of beacons API to help mobile app developers in transmitting data to nearby devices using beacons and at the same time enabling them to keep check on beacons to ensure everything working in correct order.
Furthermore, Google’s apps like Google Now can also leverage benefit of this new beacon format. How do you feel if you enter a restaurant and get its menu on your phone the moment you take a place? Well, Eddystone can make it possible for you taking the customer service to whole new level.
For now, Google has no plan monetizing from Eddystone version 1.0. The company is working on a lot more. Do you have something to share? Please comment.