Eddystone beacons: Google's answer to iBeacons

Launched as an alternative to Apple's iBeacon technology, Google's Bluetooth-based tracking opens up new uses that just aren't possible with GPS and Wi-Fi.

Google is getting ready to roll out its own Bluetooth-based beacon technology, letting apps and web services pinpoint your exact location.

Dubbed Eddystone (apparently after a U.K. lighthouse), the project is a cross-platform answer to Apple's iBeacon technology that arrived in 2013. It allows small beacon devices to detect when a phone, smartwatch, or other Bluetooth-enabled device comes within close range, in turn triggering a specific action.

Google offers a few examples of how this might be useful: When you arrive at a bus stop, you might get a notification informing you of any delays, and when you sit down on your couch, your phone might instantly display what's on TV. A beacon-equipped cat collar could deliver the owner's contact information, and a restaurant could show you its menu as you walk by. Bluetooth beacons allow for much greater accuracy than Wi-Fi and GPS alone, locating devices that are as close as a few centimeters away.

Interoperability is Google's big selling point, especially when compared to Apple's iBeacon. Beacon manufacturers can add Eddystone support with just a firmware update, and app makers can use Google's Nearby API to send information to both iOS and Android devices. (Apple, meanwhile, has shut down at least one attempt to support iBeacon on Android devices.) Google is also looking to tie beacons into its experimental Physical Web project, so they can deliver information without a dedicated app.

Read more: How beacons and nearables are giving marketers new customer know-how
Woolworths plans national beacons rollout to improve click-and-collect customer service

It's early days for Eddystone, and for beacons in general, and it's unclear how much adoption we'll see in the real world. But for now, a handful of apps are already using the Nearby API to transmit infromation to other devices, and several beacon hardware manufacturers have pledged their support.

The story behind the story: In theory, beacons should play a huge role in the explosion of Internet of Things, with applications that extend to home automation, smart automobiles, wearables, and beyond. As an example, a smart home would become much more useful when the lights, door locks, and thermostat know exactly which rooms are occupied, but that type of fine-grained location detection is largely unavailable in current products. Through interoperability, Google is hoping it can finally push beacons into the mainstream.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Is customer segmentation dead?

Ginni Rometty, the CEO of IBM, announced the death of customer segmentation five years ago saying, "The shift is to go from the segment to the individual. She might have been a bit premature for most marketers, but if customer segmentation isn't dead yet, it's definitely on life support.

Richard Taylor

Senior digital strategist, Spinach

How people buy brands

Andrew Ehrenberg was a giant in the field of marketing science. He believed scientific methods could reveal law-like patterns of how people buy. In this post, I summarise one of Ehrenberg’s most important discoveries and its implications on how people buy brands.

Kyle Ross

Strategist, TRP

Is artificial intelligence riddled with bias?

The purpose of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has always been to replace the menial and repetitive tasks we do each day in every sector, so that we can concentrate on doing what we do best. Saving time and money has certainly been a decent outcome as AI infiltrates the business landscape, however, now we are starting to see problems that cause major issues in practice.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

At the deeper levels of artificial intelligence, computing machines make all kinds of correlations among whatever data is available to th...

Fraction Tech

Is artificial intelligence riddled with bias? - Customer Design - CMO Australia

Read more

https://myiplookup.com/ - find your ip address and location information in our main page. Also there are many ip tools you can use : IP L...

savefrom

iSelect outlines new approach to arrest ineffective marketing as its reports full-year results

Read more

https://myiplookup.com/ - this website will allow you to View Alexa Ranking and graph Check http headers of a website, tool to compare te...

savefrom

The Star's first CMO creates all-new marketing team

Read more

Good tips to follow. Thank you!

Anna Travis

5 things every business can do to drive brand loyalty

Read more

Thank you! That was useful to know.

Belia Adam

Why your best social marketing brand tool could be hiding in plain sight

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in