The Bluetooth Low Energy Beacon Profile Eddystone was introduced by Google in 2015 as an alternative to Apple’s iBeacon. Please note that this is not hardware, but a software protocol that is installed on beacons. The system was named after a famous lighthouse off the coast of Cornwall, because the signal of the Beacon is as simple as that of a lighthouse and also only goes in one direction. It can be received by all Bluetooth enabled devices. The Google solution makes it possible to send not only an ID but also entire web addresses via beacon. In contrast to location-based services via iBeacons, which function according to the push principle, the Eddystone protocol relies on the pull principle. This means that in an iBeacon installation, for example in a shopping mall equipped with iBeacons, certain actions are triggered on the smartphone due to the position of the receiver. For example, a customer in front of a shoe store automatically receives a push message with a special offer tailored to him. Prerequisite: The customer has installed the app of the store on his device. In contrast, with the pull principle, the customer finds a reference to further content in the physical web in the form of a URL in the message center of his smart device before the store. This could be a special landing page with further offers of the shoe shop. The user must become active himself and open the link to the landing page, he must “pull” the contents. A big advantage is that in most cases the necessary app, on iPhones the Chrome browser, is already loaded on the user’s device. A separate app for the advertising business is therefore not necessary.
Eddystone also contains a telemetry frame (Eddystone-TLM) that provides information on the status of the beacon, for example the battery charge status.