Named after Eddystone Lighthouse, Google has launched new Internet of Things stuff. Google’s Eddystone is an open source cross-platform Bluetooth LE (BLE) beacon format. Where Apple’s iBeacon technology which is in the same BLE space, is a closed platform.
Beacons can be thought of as battery or electricity-powered Internet of Things source transmitters with enough intelligence to know where they are and what they are supposed to be doing within their defined and prescribed role. Another also says that iBeacon is the hugest step of Internet of Things so far.
The Eddystone specification includes a number of ‘broadcast frame’ types (or data payloads, if you prefer) including Eddystone-URL, which the firm says is the backbone of the Physical Web.
The Physical Web is another related IoT Google project and is an approach to allow people to be able to just walk up to any smart device – a vending machine, a poster, a toy, a bus stop, a rental car – and not have to download the appropriate corresponding app first. “Everything should be just a tap away,” says the firm.
Read also: Google’s Eddystone or Apple’s iBeacon.
How Beacon can works with IoT
Beacon transmitters like those ascribing to the Eddystone format broadcast one-way information via Bluetooth to smartphones or tablets (it’s not usually going to be a laptop) typically while users are mobile on foot.
The data may be ‘absorbed’ by the user’s device via direct user-initiated connection or by more passive ‘always on’ connection if the user’s device is set up to establish a more constant relationship. Stores and shops could use beacons to send out promotions, special event locations could send out directions and warnings, travel locations could send out transport news, timetables or alerts and so on. Basically, it’s the way you imagine the truly connected Internet of Things world to work when it all does.
Technology website Ars Technica were able to speak to Eddystone’s product manager, Matthew Kulick and the project’s engineering director Chandu Thota. The pair claim and assert that ‘existing solutions’ only partially address what is being asked for by users (and their devices) today — so for that you can logically think about Apple and its iBeacon technology. The difference of course is that Google is making Eddystone open and Apple is (obviously) keeping a fairly closed shop on iBeacon.
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