Now, Google is getting into this business, with Eddystone. However they’re basing their beacons on open standards – if you have a Bluetooth Low-Energy smartphone, it should work with their product.
This should open up this space to some competition and provide a platform for retailers, museums, restaurants, public transit and other venues to provide more targeted marketing information to smartphones in these places.
A differentiator for Eddystone is that it can send different types of data, beyond just an identifier - say a URL. This could be used to open a website in a browser window, similar to a QR Code, but without having to take a picture with a QR app. Another possible application might be for restaurants where a menu could be displayed when you’re waiting in line, or at your table.
Another type of data that could be transmitted is telemetry data including battery charge remaining, beacon health, etc. These could be used to manage “fleets” of beacons.
Radius Networks, a supplier or technology, can update their beacons to run the new Eddystone protocols with a simple firmware upgrade.
Is there a potential for using a similar technology at our facilities? What business applications could you envision for this technology?