iBeacon vs Eddystone Overview
A beacon is a small device that transmits a Bluetooth signal at regular intervals. This signal is broadcast in a certain format, a communication protocol that describes the string of characters and numbers that make up the signal. The two most common protocols that beacons use are iBeacon and Eddystone, and Kontakt.io supports both!
The iBeacon™ profile is the first and currently the most widely-used communication protocol. Developed by Apple, it is natively supported in iOS and has deep integrations with the mobile OS. Although the iBeacon profile works on other mobile operating systems, it works best in the environment it was designed for, iPhones and iPads.
Technically, it works like this: a beacon using an iBeacon profile contains a combination of letters and numbers, broken up into specific groups. Each code is unique for every beacon and a mobile application will only take action if it recognizes a beacon as being on the list those it is integrated with. Once a beacon is detected by an application that recognizes it, the application can trigger some kind of action: a push alert to a home screen, log something on the phone, connect to a server, and so on.
The Eddystone™ format is a new and open communication protocol developed by Google with Android users in mind.
Much of how Eddystone works is the same as iBeacon, but there’s extended functionality beyond that. Eddystone exists as three different types of protocols: Eddystone-UID, Eddystone-URL, and Eddystone-TLM. UID works more or less exactly as iBeacon does: it broadcasts a short code on a regular interval. Eddystone-URL broadcasts a URL that can be viewed by anyone with a smartphone whether they have your app installed or not, and Eddystone-TLM broadcasts some telemetry data about any attached sensors and the status of the beacon itself.