Google announces Eddystone, its Bluetooth Low Energy iBeacon competitor


Google has announced an open source, cross platform Bluetooth Low Energy format called Eddystone, designed to help developers connect devices to the Internet of Things, and compete with Apple’s own iBeacon technology.

According to the Google Developer blog announcement, Eddystone:

“Eddystone supports multiple frame types for different use cases, and it supports versioning to make introducing new functionality easier. It’s cross-platform, capable of supporting Android, iOS or any platform that supports BLE beacons. And it’s available on GitHub under the open-source Apache v2.0 license, for everyone to use and help improve.”

Google’s Eddystone project and APIs help developers connect with device to the Internet of Things

Eddystone is supported by two APIs, Nearby and Proximity Beacon, which improve communication between a beacon and a smartphone, and allow developers to add a map reference to a beacon. Google’s making sure Eddystone is compatible with as many existing beacons as possible, and states that a firmware update is all that’s needed to add compatibility. Google’s also working with manufacturers to produce Eddystone-compliant beacons.

The Proximity Beacon API also includes diagnostic tools for monitoring a beacon’s health and status, plus the project will be integrated with Google Maps and other Google services in the future. For security, Google has made a feature called Ephemeral Identifiers, that cycle to only allow authorised clients access — handy for locating personal belongings.

Visit the Eddystone GitHub for more details, and see which manufacturers are already producing compatible beacons here.