Google joining beacon area is not something surprising actually. The other tech giants also launched their beacon too and joining beacon parade in the world. But what makes us questioning is why Google just released it on the mid of July? Why Google is late? iBeacon technology has already given the world next level in advertising. Bringing contextual mobile ads and analytic that are mostly needed for business.
Inspired by the name of English Lighthouse, Google is joining beacon area with Eddystone. According to Google, the company spoke to a number of beacon providers from the US to understand the current limitations of the technology. At the core, Eddystone is designed to be an open format for beacons, supporting multiple frame types and supporting versioning to make introducing new functionality easy.
Google has also introduceda a feature called Ephemeral Identifiers (EIDs) that change the ID regularly. This means that only authorised clients can decode them. Therefore, Eddystone can be more secure than iBeacon because they cannot be duplicated. This means that should someone want to use a beacon tag in their luggage or on their keys, it will only be identifiable if you are the owner. It also means added security for enterprise deployments where beacons may be used for health and safety alerts.
Read also: Google’s Eddystone or Apple’s iBeacon.
On the other hand, Apple when they first released iBeacon, it seemed like a relatively odd play for Apple. Nobody even really gets what should they do with this technology. Until there came some implementation in retails. One of the biggest potentials for beacon technology, was contextual advertising based on where the user was. Apple had the opportunity to use iBeacons to help improve its iAd platform, delivering contextually relevant adverts based on what a user was doing.
Beside that, iBeacon is entirely controlled by Apple. This means that developers have to use workarounds or other SDKs if they want to read anything other than the unique ID number. But Eddystone is open source, published on GitHub for developers to download and use in their own apps. It also is able to broadcast its ID number, a URL address and sensor telemetry.
After two years of released and two years of developing, people have been realizing that iBeacon is such a huge step of Internet of Things. Or likely iBeacon technology will help you connect with you coffee maker, fridge, and maybe just help you find the location of some specific things.
So far, Eddystone is probably winning on the development of iBeacon since we saw how Eddystone is really interesting. Not only is it compatible with both iOS and Android, but it’s also more flexible and opens up the technology to a wider section of use cases. The ability to broadcast URLs directly to a user’s device is almost definitely there to help advertisers not only understand how many people have dwelled in front of an ad, but also to make it easy to visit a campaign page.
Eddystone also includes New APIs to make beacon more powerful. Firstly, Nearby API makes it easy for apps to find and communicate with beacons to get specific information and context. Nearby provides a proximity API, Nearby Messages, for iOS and Android devices to discover and communicate with each other, as well as with beacons.
Nearby uses a combination of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and inaudible sound (using the device’s speaker and microphone) to establish proximity. The basic idea is to make it easier to share content or information with other devices nearby, almost like Apple’s AirDrop. Nearby doesn’t require a Google Account, it’s just something that sits within an app, where the user can grant permission to the functionality.
Read Also: Eddystone – iBeacon on the Next Level.
A further benefit of Eddystone is the Proximity Beacon API, helping developers to manage data associated with beacons using a REST interface. Once beacons are registered with Google’s Proximity Beacon API, it’s possible to associate attachments that are stored in the cloud. This makes it possible to manage and update information associated with each beacon, even after the beacons are deployed.
This also means that mobile browsers which use the Proximity API will be able to read beacon IDs, triggering contextual articles or ads, without needing apps installed (other than the browser, of course). Could this point to Google Chrome including this soon?
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