What is Eddystone™? 5 Key Facts About the New Open Beacon Format From Google
Starting from right now, we’re selling Bluetooth beacons with support for Eddystone, a new beacon format from Google! We’ve been working with Google on this project, and we’re one of the very few companies that have been involved with the process for long enough to have native support ready for the new format at the day of launch.
So what is the new Eddystone?
1. It’s Google’s alternative to iBeacon
Eddystone is a completely new method of broadcasting BLE data from beacons, created by Google but open to extension by the Internet at large. It embraces what iBeacons can do, and adds even more real-world context to it.
Beacons with support for Eddystone can broadcast three different advertising packets, called frame types:
- Eddystone-UID—a beacon’s unique ID number. This frame type triggers push notifications or app actions, just like Proximity UUID that you know from iBeacon.
- Eddystone-URL (UriBeacon’s successor)—a URL that can be broadcasted by a beacon or other object. Once a user’s device receives such signals, it displays URLs broadcasted by nearby emitters, ranked by proximity. We’ll get back to this packet in a moment.
- Eddystone-TLM (Telemetry)—data obtained by sensors. This frame type enables you to trigger different actions, depending on different conditions, such as temperature, air pollution, loudness, or humidity.
2. It’s an open format
Eddystone’s specification is published openly on the web and driven by the community, so anyone can access it and contribute to it. Have a brilliant idea on how to improve the Eddystone experience? Go on and submit it!
3. It’s both Android and iOS compatible
Eddystone is meant to be the most robust and comprehensive beacon format, so it supports both Android and iOS. Finally, your proximity-enabled apps can perform as designed on both systems. Since common push notification issues on Android devices have been solved, you don’t have to worry about that anymore.
That’s not all, though! You can also use the Nearby API to develop solutions based on other formats, such as iBeacon! It’s one easy proximity service for any device and for iBeacon profile and Eddystone format.
4. It connects beacons and Physical Web
As you already know, you can use Eddystone-UID to deploy real-world context to your native apps. But if some of your customers don’t use your app, or you don’t have one, you can use another frame type: the Eddystone-URL.
URLs, emitted by objects and devices are the backbone of the Physical Web, another project from Google. Instead of broadcasting unique strings of numbers and letters that are only recognised by certain apps, the Eddystone-URL frame type broadcasts information that can be natively used by a phone even if it doesn’t have your app installed. That’s a game changer, giving businesses a reason to switch to Eddystone profile all by itself even if there weren’t any other advantages.
Questions? Comments? Concerns? Feel free to leave them below or reach out to us.