Google launched the Eddystone, the new Bluetooth LE technology that is a tiny transmitter basically helping to beam signals to the devices that are in the vicinity. It transmits data on an interest point and is picked in the range of transmitters by a mobile device. iBeacon from the tech giant Apple came into existence two years before the launch of Googles Eddystone.
iBeacons were primarily deployed by Apple to support people shopping at Apple Stores. For instance, a beacon-equipped store can send out in-store promotions to its customers in the store instantly. Alternatively, places such as museums could set up this technology to send museum exhibits data to people to view them.
Eddystone is extensible and robust. It also supports multiple frame types facilitating different use cases, and supports versioning to introduce new functionality easier. The cross-platform supports Android, iOS or other platforms supporting BLE beacons. It is also available on GitHub under the Apache v2.0 license open-source, for everyone to use and improve.
As Eddystone is an open source and offers support for cross-platform in iOS and Android, it has an extra edge over iBeacon that works only with select iDevices. This reveals that the iBeacon has limitations as only a small percentage using smartphone and worldwide can use iBeacon. Thus, the Eddystone open source ability offers a major advantage over iBeacon.
Another difference between these transmitters is that, same as iBeacon, Eddystone supports multiple “frame types”. iBeacons send out only UUIDs basically tied to the developer’s server. So, one must have the specific app to perform a particular task. Google’s Eddystone on the other hand, sends URL replacing UUID. This is resistance free and can release in a Web browser featuring specific apps, besides is ideal for solitary data transactions.
URLs are the “QR Code” option, and the advantage is there is no need to have a QR Code reader app. Besides, one need not take the QR code image.
The beacons onset offers the users advantage of automation capabilities and new functionalities even for retail apps. Thus the Bluetooth beacon ensures a bright future ahead.
Beacon technology is sure to evolve a lot in the coming years and now the market is in the adoption phase offering little visibility of order and timing featuring new integrations and exciting functionalities to be released. However, developers and companies are considering the flexibility it offers to enable switching between the protocols and to adopt a mix-n-match approach with both formats.