Hello IoT developers and beacon lovers! Eddystone™ is a new potentially disruptive beacon standard recently announced by Google.
There is every reason to believe that Eddystone is going to take the beacon community by storm. It is open, it is an alternative to Apple’s iBeacon, it is supported by Google as well as the major beacon vendors. And it is ready to use.
Here are 5 reasons to keep your eyes open for Eddystone.
1. It is ready to use
Eddystone is here now. It is not a future standard that may eventually happen. It has already happened. This means that you can start developing apps for Eddystone today, order beacons and start deploying them.
2. It is supported by major beacon vendors
This means that both hardware and software development tools are available for Eddystone right from the start.
3. It is an open standard that innovates use of broadcasted data
Eddystone is a specification of an open beacon protocol, released under the Apache license.
Eddystone beacons broadcast messages using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). What is special is that broadcasted messages are flexible, there are different types of frames sent out, enabling multiple messages types.
Three frame types are defined by the standard:
- URL – The frame contains a URL that can be used by the application to link to content. This enables the “Physical Web”.
- UID – The frame consists of a unique identifier the application can use to trigger actions and display information. A mobile app can display data stored locally or dynamically fetch data from a server.
- Telemetry – The frame contains information such as battery level, temperature, and uptime. This data can be used to monitor the “health” of large (and small) beacon installations.
The use of different frame types is an innovation compared to iBeacon, which uses only one type of frame.
Additional frames could be used. As an example, iBeacon frames could be broadcasted in addition to the Eddystone specific frames. This would make Eddystone beacons work with both iBeacon apps and Eddystone apps.
4. It is totally cross platform
Since the specification is open, libraries and applications can be implemented on all mobile platforms that are capable of using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Implementations for Android and iOS are already available, for example in the SDKs from Estimote and Kontakt.io.
Furthermore, Google has announced support for Eddystone and the Physical Web in it’s mobile Chrome browser. This means that you can explore Eddystone beacons in an easy way.
5. Google enters the beacon industry at full scale
Interestingly, Google kept Eddystone “under the radar” until the release two weeks ago. It is as if a fully featured beacon ecosystem suddenly materialised right in front of our eyes!
The future does look interesting for beacon developers!
It is easy to get started with Evothings Studio
Evothings Studio already has support for iBeacon and Estimote beacons and nearables. Eddystone is on the way.
Estimote, Kontakt and Radius Networks are upping their hardware offerings, here’s some things you need to know.
Evothings Studio 2.0 is a Saas solution, bringing on a wide array of possibilities for the IoT developer. Join the growing community and learn more about the benefits of using Evothings Studio for IoT app development.
A simple way to build and sign your app for publishing, is via a build service. Adobe’s Phongegap Build is one for the candidates.