Google entered the beacon space in July 2015, two years after Apple, by designing their own beacon protocol called Eddystone. This started a wave of new exciting developments in the beacon space, as it received the much needed push from Google.
You ask how?
Well, Google played a masterstroke on various fronts by introducing Eddystone:
I. The Eddystone beacon protocol is both open-source and cross platform, which means that it could be leveraged by businesses even if they do not have an app.
II. It includes two new payload types — Eddystone URL and Eddystone TLM (telemetry information) — in addition to the Eddystone UID (unique ID) which is similar to the UUID in iBeacon. These additional payloads make beacon usage more versatile and beacon fleet management much easier.
III. The beacon protocol now contains a security update in the form of a unique identifier called an Ephemeral ID or EID. This update makes Eddystone beacons much more secure.
IV. In an exciting update for the proximity market, Google recently announced Eddystone support on the Chrome browser for Android devices, opening doors to 800 million additional users for businesses.
The entire Eddystone package is, thus, turning out to be a huge asset now as it is opening gateways for all types of businesses to try proximity marketing, irrespective of their size. Various industry verticals are excitedly looking forward to leveraging this ground-breaking technology. This is precisely why we bring you the Beaconstac Eddy Kit for all your business needs. The Eddy kit contains everything you need to set up a proximity marketing campaign – in less than 15 minutes!
There are a few questions that frequently surface in our conversations with potential clients while they attempt to understand how our Eddy kit is different from our Beaconstac Starter Kit. So, we bring you an FAQ blog that strives to answer these questions:
1. How is the Eddy kit different from the Beaconstac Starter Kit?
a. Essentially the Eddy kit offers two Eddystone beacons whereas the Beaconstac Starter Kit offers three iBeacon & Eddystone-compatible beacon hardware.
b. In terms of technology, the Eddy kit is built around Eddystone URL payload and explores it to give you a multi-faceted usage experience—by allowing you to use cards, collect customer feedback, conduct surveys, and much more.
On the other hand, the Beaconstac Starter Kit allows you to leverage both Eddystone and iBeacon payloads, without being able to use the customized Eddystone URL features that come exclusively with the Eddy kit.
c. In terms of application, the Eddy kit is specifically designed for small and medium businesses wishing to leverage beacons without an app, whereas the Beaconstac Starter Kit is designed for businesses wanting to roll out beacons along with a beacon-enabled app.
2. How is the Eddy Kit offering different from the competition?
Here is what the Eddy kit offers:
3. Does a device need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network in order to receive Eddystone notifications?
No, the device does not need Wi-Fi connectivity to receive Eddystone notifications. However, you would need an internet connection to open the URL payloads that you receive in the notifications. And, as in the case of iBeacon, you need to turn on the device’s bluetooth to receive Eddystone notifications.
Also note, if you are using an iOS device, you need to ensure that it has the Google Chrome application installed. In case of Android devices, you would need to give Physical web access to Chrome to tap on the notifications for the first time.
4. Does the Google Chrome browser have to be running in the background for it to work?
No, the device does not need the Google Chrome browser to be running in the background for receiving Eddystone notifications. It would definitely need the Chrome app to be installed on the device though.
Another point that must be noted is that Eddystone notifications are passive notifications and not push notifications. In case of push notifications, the application notifies a user of new messages or events even when the user is not actively using the application. For instance, when an Android device receives a push notification, the application’s icon and a message appear in the status bar. On the other hand, passive notifications can be seen only when the user opens the list in the notification center.
5. Which devices are compatible with the Eddystone beacon protocol?
For iOS devices: iPhone or iPad running on iOS 8.0 or higher. You can check the iOS version that your device is running on as follows: Go to your home screen, then touch Settings > General > About, You’ll find your iOS version number right next to ‘Version’.
For Android devices: Android device running on Android 4.3.2 or higher. You can check the Android version that your device is running on as follows: Go to your home screen, then touch Settings > About phone. You’ll find your Android version number right next to ‘Version’.
6. What does the notification look like to a first-time user? Are these experiences similar on various platforms or are they different?
For iOS users:
For Android users:
The user experience is different across the iOS and Android platforms:
For an iOS user: Once you turn on the bluetooth of the device, open the Notification centre by swiping down from the top of the screen.
Go to the ‘Today’ tab and click on ‘Edit’.
Choose the Google Chrome application from the list of apps.
Now you will see the chrome notifications of the nearby beacons in the notification centre. Tap on a notification to open the URL.
For an Android user: A notification with a Physical Web icon appears on the screen with the title head of the URLs for all the beacons nearby.
Once you tap on it, the notifications expand to give out more information regarding the URLs.
Tapping on the notification once again, gives you all the links broadcasted by nearby beacons.
Tapping on the desired link, will open that link on Google Chrome and Physical web for Android devices.
7. What kind of notifications can businesses send with the Eddy kit beacons?
You can set the URL of the Beaconstac Eddy beacons to one of these four options on the Beaconstac platform in just a few clicks:
a. Custom URL (Youtube Video Link, Facebook Page)
b. Content Cards
c. Lead Generation Form
d. Customer Satisfaction Survey Form
8. How many messages can I send from a single Eddy kit beacon?
You can link a single beacon to one URL at a time. At the enterprise level, we offer rolling URLs for a single beacon. This simply means that, with Eddy kit beacons, the bit.ly URL linked to the beacon hardware can be redirected to different URLs once it reaches the Beaconstac server.
9. What are the various pricing plans for Eddy kit? How are they different from one another?
We have two different pricing plans — Small Business Plan and Enterprise Plan — for Eddy Kit. Here is a table to show how one is different from the other:
You can opt for the Small Business Plan if you would want to go for a PoC first. The Small Business Plan offers 6 beacons with unlimited user interactions. You can eventually scale-up to the Enterprise plan as you move forward.
Please do let us know if you have more questions regarding our Eddy kit in the comments section below!
If you are planning an Eddystone beacon pilot, take a look at Beaconstac, that includes everything you need to kickstart your campaign in under 15 minutes. Using Beaconstac you can set up your own campaign, without a developer’s help!