The era has finally come when the smart phones are going to be even smarter. With continuous improvements and changes, new technology emerges making positive changes in the society. Likewise, with the advent of Google’s new Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon technology, the world is going to be a simpler and smarter place to live in.
A Bluetooth based beacon is a low energy Bluetooth device that broadcasts its identity to other nearby Bluetooth devices, like smartphones and tablets. This technology will allows businesses to interact with its potential customers digitally. The customers, when in the nearby area, can get push notifications with the relevant information. For instance, a Bluetooth beacon of a bus station can give you information of an arriving or delayed bus.
Google’s cross platform beacon named Eddystone is an open BLE beacon. Unlike Apple’s iBeacon which is limited only to iOS devices, Google’s Eddystone has the potential to work well with almost all the operating systems, be it Android or iOS or any other operating platform that supports BLE beacons.
Google has come up with two new APIs for its Eddystone platform:
- The Nearby API- This API is for iOS and Android. It lets the developers create applications which can find and communicate with nearby beacons. For example, a set of people can play a game on an Android TV using their phones as control pads when the game is running on a nearby TV.
- The Proximity Beacon- This API lets the developers find semantic location (latitude and longitude) of the place and other related data stored in the cloud. Device or beacon owners can know where an offline beacon is and send important information to the devices of those passing by. It can also be used in other existing location APIs.
BLE devices and beacons are public making it a little unsecure. To overcome this problem and to restrict breaches in beacon, Google has come up with Ephemeral Identifiers (EIDs). These change frequently and can be decoded only by authorized clients. These EIDs are very useful in finding your personal things like luggage after a flight or a lost key.
Beacon hardware vendors such as Estimote, Radius Networks, Bluvision, BKON, have built Eddystone into their devices. Even Google has currently been working with this beacon in its own products and services. They have used beacon enhanced transit notifications on Google Maps in Portland which provides real time transit schedules for stations. Google has released the specifications of Eddystone on GitHub and is available for anyone to download under the Apache v2.0 license.
Now deliver better experiences to the users through your applications. Both the app developers and beacon manufacturers are going to benefit from the beacon technology, if used in the right way. Eddystone really has the potential to get more beacons and make for a smooth and efficient flow of information in the world.
Web Geometrics is one of the emerging android application development company in India.