We see that iBeacon is growing so fast. Started from retailers, iBeacon also becomes one of public bestfriend. Launched by Apple on 2013, iBeacon only needs 1 year to actually be a superstar for developers and users. Its benefits has been useful for many retailers and developers to build up smart environment.
Since Apple launched iBeacon technology, market always knows that iBeacon is from Apple. Google still competing in the same business, released Eddystone. Eddystone is basically rebranding of Uribeacon, previously iBeacon hardware from Google. Eddystone is an open platform that supports multiple frames and works with Android devices, iOS devices, and any other platform that has support for BLE beacons.
Eddystone will be used as a part of Google’s Physical Web project in that it sends URLs from beacons in addition to traditional beacon messages. Gartner’s Mark Hung said that, with this capability especially, Eddystone looks all too familiar to Google’s previous beacon effort.
Google’s approach with Eddystone is largely illustrative of the core difference in approach between Apple and Google. The openness of Eddystone is contrary to the iBeacon, as Apple is known for having a closed, closely guarded ecosystem.
The biggest difference in the beacons for users is that iBeacon requires users to download an app to make use of it, but Eddystone only requires a browser to receive beacon messages. Hung said there’s some reluctance on the part of users to download yet another app, so they may be more willing to use Eddystone, especially in places they don’t frequently visit.
For developers, Google is launching two new APIs in conjunction with Eddystone:
- Nearby API – Allows Android and iOS devices to communicate with other devices and beacons.
- Proximity Beacon API – Lets developers connect semantic location data to beacons. Also works with Places API.