Eddystone breathes new life into beacons

Alphabet (nee Google) unveiled a new developer initiative called Eddystone in July 2015, a software platform for Bluetooth beacons that demonstrates the potential for a shift change connecting beacons to the Internet of Things.

Beacons are small devices that use Bluetooth technology to send notifications and other actions to a passing smartphone or other Bluetooth enabled device. It had looked as though beacons were at risk of going the way of QR codes, but Google’s software might finally make this technology more appealing to marketers.

Eddystone is a new open format for Bluetooth low energy (BLE) beacons. It’s open-source, flexible and will equally support iOS devices. Most importantly, its cross platform, which opens up the world of beacons in a platform neutral approach.

Advertising has a huge amount to gain from beacons. If used efficiently, they allow marketers to be adaptive and precisely target their messaging. The beacon can be the link between the passive ambient media world and the data-rich mobile and internet universe.

Beacons have been around for a while and Apple have had their own technology framework for over two years, but Google broadens the market beyond iOS to the Android community.

It also offers a far greater level of sophistication that will appeal to marketers. Eddystone allows beacons to send out encoded links to smartphone browsers. No more downloading apps or having to touch a device against a QR code, the links work directly with devices and marketers will have control over who sees what and when.

This could well encourage greater adoption by advertisers as they see the potential for this localised, selective push marketing opportunity.