Google unveils platform-independent alternative to Apple's iBeacon, dubbed Eddystone

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2015
Google on Tuesday announced Eddystone, an open-source beacon platform that may provide competition for Apple's iBeacon standard used by some businesses and attractions, including Apple Stores.




Like iBeacon, Eddystone -- an evolution of Google's failed UriBeacon -- will communicate with devices via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to pop up information on compatible devices when they're within close range. A bus stop beacon, for instance, might offer transit times, something Google has already set up for Android phones in Portland, Oregon.

Eddystone however is completely platform-agnostic, and Google has published Github resources as well two APIs for both iOS and Android, Nearby and Proximity Beacon. The former allows apps to find and communicate with beacons, while the latter helps developers associate a location and other data with each point.

Google said it currently doesn't plan to charge for Eddystone, and has already collaborated with Bluvision, Estimote, Kontakt.io, Radius Networks, and Signal360 to build the technology into their beacons.

For large-scale deployments Google has produced a free management tool, and as needed developers can take Eddystone telemetry and build their own dashboards and services on top of it.

If backed by developers Eddystone could present a serious threat to iBeacon, which only works with iOS devices dating back to 2011's iPhone 4S.
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Comments

  • Reply 2 of 33
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,121member
    'Google innovates' has to be one the greatest oxymorons of this era.
  • Reply 3 of 33
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    If backed by developers Eddystone could present a serious threat to iBeacon, which only works with iOS devices dating back to 2011's iPhone 4S.

    How did Google get around the dozens of Apple iBeacon patents?

  • Reply 4 of 33
    customtbcustomtb Posts: 336member
    Would this protocol reach out to iPhone automatically or would it only reach those that have installed some app?
  • Reply 5 of 33
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post



    'Google innovates' has to be one the greatest oxymorons of this era.

     

    Also, independent....!!! Hahahhaha.

    The next question would be, what's in it for Google?

    Of course, they want to track you, get info on you.

    This is another fools game. Anyone hopping on Google's buggy merits to get their ass kicked down the road.

  • Reply 6 of 33
    teco221teco221 Posts: 12member
    Of course it will be free so everyone will use it. Otherwise who would use google??? I use Duck duck go.
  • Reply 7 of 33
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,453member
    mstone wrote: »
    How did Google get around the dozens of Apple iBeacon patents?
    Google has granted patents for beacon-related "inventions" dating back to at least 2011 2006

    https://www.google.com/search?tbo=p&tbm=pts&hl=en&q=beacon+bluetooth+inassignee:Google&num=10&qscrl=1&gws_rd=ssl#q=beacon+bluetooth+inassignee:Google&hl=en&tbm=pts&start=10

    It would be just as valid to ask how Apple got around the dozens of Google patents. Many of the "innovations" in tech are actually being developed concurrently by a few (or several) different companies.
  • Reply 8 of 33
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,285member
    Ibeacon technology shouldn't have been closed to begin with.
  • Reply 9 of 33
    Apple should instantly open up Ibeacon. They got all the head start they are going to get with it and this kind of tech needs to be as standard as the web ( insert your own analogy ) better to have them use yours. Think swift.
  • Reply 10 of 33

    Well, certainly a better name than "UriBeacon". Not sure who comes up with some of these names over there at Google. 

  • Reply 11 of 33
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,167member
    gatorguy wrote: »

    I hope Google pay AI for your presence here! :no:
  • Reply 12 of 33
    revenantrevenant Posts: 491member

    google has one more app to create- google clone. you upload a piece of software and their engineers make their own free version that tracks any and everything about the device and the user who carries it.

     

    on second thought google clone is too generous, how about 'everyday at google'?

  • Reply 13 of 33
    leighrleighr Posts: 180member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleinsiderFrm View Post



    Apple should instantly open up Ibeacon. They got all the head start they are going to get with it and this kind of tech needs to be as standard as the web ( insert your own analogy ) better to have them use yours. Think swift.

     

    Agreed. Apple does need to work harder to move some of its important technologies into ubiquitous status, similar to what they did with iTunes - which is one of the few examples of great technology winning out over poor technology. The reality is that (poor) technology that is available on 100% of things, will almost always win out over (great) technology that is only available on 50% on things.

  • Reply 14 of 33

    Google KNOWS it will be unable to get a consistent platform for Android that is why it chose to support iOS with Android. Apple has had BLTE hardware support in all iPhones starting with the iPhone 4S, which is most likely seeing its last year of support with iOS 9.

     

    Google has failed twice to gain traction with Android exclusive iBeacon-like technology. Now Google is trying third time by including support for iOS. Google HAS to support Android since it is the steward of Android. Otherwise, in my opinion, Android support would have not be developed.

     

    Samsung has its own iBeacon-like technology, which could mean Samsung favors its own technology over Google's technology. HTC, LG, Sony and other major non-Chinese manufacturers MIGHT support Google's technology IF the telephone carriers choose to include support of the technology in their flavors of Android. On the Chinese front, in order for the technology to get into China, the source code would have to be rewritten to exclude ALL links that go back to Google.

     

    And, since Apple is not supporting Google's technology, iOS developers would have to support the technology in their apps, which would force the developers to support two beacon technologies.

  • Reply 15 of 33
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,453member
    Google KNOWS it will be unable to get a consistent platform for Android that is why it chose to support iOS with Android. Apple has had BLTE hardware support in all iPhones starting with the iPhone 4S, which is most likely seeing its last year of support with iOS 9.

    Google has failed twice to gain traction with Android exclusive iBeacon-like technology. Now Google is trying third time by including support for iOS. Google HAS to support Android since it is the steward of Android. Otherwise, in my opinion, Android support would have not be developed.

    Samsung has its own iBeacon-like technology, which could mean Samsung favors its own technology over Google's technology. HTC, LG, Sony and other major non-Chinese manufacturers MIGHT support Google's technology IF the telephone carriers choose to include support of the technology in their flavors of Android. On the Chinese front, in order for the technology to get into China, the source code would have to be rewritten to exclude ALL links that go back to Google.

    And, since Apple is not supporting Google's technology, iOS developers would have to support the technology in their apps, which would force the developers to support two beacon technologies.
    You should read the Ars article. I think you may have some misconceptions/misunderstandings about Eddystone that some reading could clear up.
    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/07/meet-googles-eddystone-a-flexible-open-source-ibeacon-fighter/
  • Reply 16 of 33
    mstone wrote: »
    How did Google get around the dozens of Apple iBeacon patents?

    Because Apple won't sue Google. Just ask Samsung. ;)
  • Reply 17 of 33
    gatorguy wrote: »
    You should read the Ars article. I think you may have some misconceptions/misunderstandings about Eddystone that some reading could clear up.
    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/07/meet-googles-eddystone-a-flexible-open-source-ibeacon-fighter/

    My initial reaction was to just ask you which pats of my comment were unclear. I then decided to read the article you provided a link to.

    As expected, the technology has a proprietary cloud side that links to Google's data collection servers.

    I had no misconceptions whatsoever. In fact, I was on target. Thanks for the read though. It was great to learn how true my comment was before I read the article.
  • Reply 18 of 33
    alphamanalphaman Posts: 14member
    Whoever said iBeacon was closed? (Besides GoOgle, of course.) The tech is totally open; I know of Beacon providers that also have Android apps that work with them (e.g., BluuBeam: http://bluubeam.com/pages/download). There's nothing proprietary about Beacons -- they're BTLE, not rocket science.
  • Reply 19 of 33
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 920member
    Side question, iBeacon has been out for about two years now. Other than Apple stores and MLB ballparks is it being used anywhere?

    Apple needs an implementation team to keep products like this in the limelight.
  • Reply 20 of 33
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,290member
    Nice. Eddystone. just rolls off the tongue…
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