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Google Launches Eddystone – Open Source BLE Beacon Format

The most popular search engine gaint, Google has launched its own open source Bluetooth Low Energy beacon-based platform called as Eddystone. It has been designed with the purpose of delivering location-based information to users on their smartphones. Google also unveiled its Nearby API, an API for iOS and Android apps that assists with proximity.

Beacons are low energy battery-friendly hardware that make use of Bluetooth to transmit data. They can broadcast their identity to other Bluetooth electronic devices and then are installed at points of interest to distribute relevant information. BLE has certain advantages over GPS such as reduced battery consumption.

With Eddystone, developers will be able to build even more contextual apps. It will support multiple frame types for different use cases and versioning of software. As it is comprised of different frame types, one will see different beacon vendors while using Eddystone for different purposes. This new format is releasing under the Apache 2.0 open source license and is meant to give developers an extensible way for working with beacons.


Unlike Apple iBeacon, Eddystone works with both Android and iOS. It can send URLs that work with any app or web browser. Google has already worked with beacon hardware vendors to build Eddystone format to their devices. These vendors cover Estimote, Bluvision, Radius Networks, Signal360 and more.

Google in its blog post said, “EIDs will enable you to securely do things like find your luggage once you get off the plane or find your lost keys.”

For Eddystone platform, Google has launched two APIs: Nearby API and Proximity Beacon API. Nearby API lets developers create apps for iOS and Android that can communicate with nearby devices and beacons. On the other hand, Proximity Beacon API lets developers find the semantic location. It can be used in other existing locations APIs.

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