Google Eddystone opinions

So… Beacons have a mixed reaction in the market, mainly due to market dominance by players who keep everything to themselves and in their own ecosystems.

Today Google announced ‘Eddystone’ (odd name), which is an open source solution -

What are you opinions? Will it make Beacons more useful?

If I knew what beacons were, I might be able to comment. As the GitHub page doesn’t really explain what they are, I’m guessing that they might be something like an RFID or proximity sensor. Either way, I never turn Bluetooth on, so don’t see this as a solution for a problem I don’t appear to have.

In terms of “beacons” it makes sense - in the UK, at least.

[quote=“chrisofarabia, post:2, topic:195797”]
If I knew what beacons were, I might be able to comment.
[/quote]Same here.

I have received push adverts before via Bluetooth, so I imagine its just a new standard?

I am just guessing that the Beacon is a transmitter - probably a dongle or a simple App on a device. So long as your Bluetooth is on, as you walk past a shop broadcasting a BLE signal an advert from that shop will display on your screen. Just what you want…

I first started receiving these messages a couple of years back and turned my Bluetooth off, but it makes sense for any shop vender to implement any strategy that will help boost sales - e.g. their equivalent of an Amazon Lightning Deal.

Sounds like a niche market to design for… so I am interested in what Chris comes up with.

And here’s an explanation of what they’re all about - Google Eddystone [Arstechnica]


I actually like the idea of an open source solution. I’ve worked with the team at BlueCats - and their beacons which are their own cross platform solution to the BLE beacon space. I wrote a SitePoint article on them too!

I’d love to see the open source solution become a standard that many BLE beacon manufacturers adopt. I’m not sure if a standard exists in general for them.

I also wonder if they spoke to the BlueCats team at all, those guys have a really REALLY solid knowledge in the space. Their beacons are genuinely really well thought out hardware and software. Would love to see the best features in both merge over time to create a compatible beacon ecosystem.

I know the BlueCats guys have iBeacon compatibility in their beacons, so hopefully the Google open source standard can be implemented too in a software update!

As for it making beacons more useful - I think if it encourages beacons to become compatible with each other and grow compatible features, that’d totally be a positive.

Thanks for the link Chris… I actually like the sound of it especially now that my eyes have been opened and I can see its real world applications.

Believe it or not, that came up on the Versioning newsletter this afternoon - timely I’d say

I had a reply to the initial comment written but it never posted :frowning:

Not so timely, more just a news article of the day :smile:

I think Patrick is likely the most knowledgeable person on SitePoint when it comes to Beacons. Have you seen any more interesting uses of them @patrickcatanzariti ?

So far, I would say somewhere like MONA (a gallery in Hobart) has been the most interesting outside of just retail.

Yep, I’ve just been working through all the links and come across it too! Damn, if only I had read it this morning instead I’d have sounded more intelligent!

Here’s something on Eddystone that’s just popped up on YouTube

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One of the really great uses I’ve seen the BlueCats guys mentioning is that they’re planning to be used by Vision Australia to provide services for the blind. I think they’ve got or are building an app that’ll use beacons in some way to help guide and provide information for them which is quite neat. The BlueCats team are requesting all beacons that companies buy are made available to the service which is really nice!

Beacons have also been used to provide promotional content at specific spots. Like providing paid functionality for free if you’re at a certain location. That’s kinda neat too.

Many of the other use cases are retail. Also security and people tracking (Are security guards going to patrol the places they’re meant to? Have an app which registers their movement into the right locations. Or locating the nearest security guard in an incident. Swap security guard for various other jobs too… cleaners, support staff at a convention… etc).

Overall, there are a tonne of really neat uses!


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