Eddystone that just released by Google apparently doesn’t need any app. It only takes web browser just to get it receives beacon messages. Google recently pushed out an update to its Chrome browser for the iPhone and iPad and added several key functions. Chrome 44 for iOS is the first version to add support for the Physical Web. It’s all powered by beacon technology and APIs.
Google released the Physical Web specification, which relies on open source Web tools, last year. The idea is to smooth out how smartphones interact with their surrounding environment, specifically beacons. Beacons, of course, are location-based objects set up by retailers or others that communicate with Bluetooth-enabled devices when they wander into range. Most often, interactions are limited to simple notifications or alerts. They aren’t always actionable. The Physical Web would make them actionable.
What does this have to do with Chrome? Google has, essentially, given Chrome the ability to push live information to the widgets found on the Today screen based on interactions with the Physical Web — but there are practical limitations.
Developers don’t have too much incentive to take advantage of beacons, at least not until they are more widely deployed. Apple uses them in its own stores, for example, to contact iPhone owners who stop by. What’s the point in adding beacon features that can’t be used by the majority of phones to apps?
It is interesting that Google brought this technology to the iPhone. Perhaps Google was motivated by the number of beacons available at Apple Stores. Theoretically speaking, companies that sell accessories at Apple Stores — and have apps that support those accessories — should be able to tap into iPhone owners’ Apple Store visits to their benefit.
Eddystone is exciting. It will be interesting to see how developers take advantage of Eddystone and its APIs over time.
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