Google launched “Eddystone,” an open source, cross-platform Bluetooth LE beacon format on July 14th. We have been paying attention to this as we are planning to release a version of RECO that can work with Google’s Eddystone. Before the release of the new product, we want to share with you about Eddystone.
What is Eddystone?
Eddystone is another Bluetooth beacon protocol Google came up with — Apple announced iBeacon back in 2013. 2 years after iBeacon, Google is presenting Bluetooth beacon technology that overcomes shortcomings and even more diverse use cases.
While iBeacon was compatible with Android, it didn’t officially support Android; iBeacon was only native for iOS.
Eddystone, however, fully supports both iOS and Android. As Google is trying to come up with an ecosystem for Bluetooth beacons use cases, Eddystone is open source and is available on GitHub. We can tell Eddystone is more open then iBeacon, and Google is planning something bigger with it.
With the Physical Web project, Google Map would be a great app to incorporate with Eddystone technology.
What can you do with Eddystone?
Unlike iBeacon, Eddystone supports multiple frame types — which enable the user to decide what to use depending on their purpose.
Here are types of Eddystone’s frame types,
1. Unique Identifier (UID) : UID is a 16 byte data that can trigger push notifications or planned action, just like iBeacon’s UUID.
2. URL : Eddystone can send URLs as their data packet. Supposedly, this overcomes Bluetooth beacon’s obstacle of needing a corresponding app. Since this is similar to the concept of Physical Web, and at this point you need Physical Web scanner app to open the URL data from Eddystone.
3. Ephemeral Identifier (EID) : The purpose of EID is security, which is a very sensitive topic in beacon industry. If Eddystone can support reliable security, there will be much more opportunities open up to beacon technology.
|What is EID?
Ephemeral Identifier is an ID temporary given, so only the authorized user can access the ID.
Imagine your life with beacon, where you can get information at right time, right place.
<image: Google Developers Blog>
RECO, we are Eddystone ready.
RECO Beacon’s lates firmware now supports Eddystone. You can place your order from September. With the same reliable hardware and proprietary software, RECO is looking forward to expanding in beacon industry.
Bonus – Why is it called Eddystone?
Google says it’s named after the Eddystone Lighthouse in the UK. The motif is that beacons guide users and apps in the real world the same way lighthouses guide ship captains in the night. We also explained why a lighthouse is often used as a metaphor for a Bluetooth beacon in our previous post. Take a look at it if you want to understand more about the concept of beacons – no matter it is Eddystone or iBeacon, both follow the same concept.