Essentials about iBeacon and Eddystone

iBeacon and Eddystone are the main protocols for beacons. Each one defines the format of the frames that beacons emit.

the iBeacon frame

iBeacon is a proprietary protocol developed by Apple.

Format

The iBeacon frame contains 3 IDs:

  • a UUID: a beacon’s main ID. All of your beacons will have the same UUID.
  • a Major ID
  • a Minor ID

Each beacon has a unique combination of UUID / Major / Minor, therefore allowing it to be easily identifiable.

Usage

This unique combination allows the Adtag platform to identify the beacon and to retrieve the attached content.

Mobile Phone Interactions

iBeacon is compatible with iOs through the CoreLocation framework, and with Android through the Bluetooth framework.

The iBeacon frame enables iOS or an Android application to be “awakened”, when the application is in the background or not running*.

To be woken-up by a beacon, the application must have been opened at least once following its installation.

  • On Android, an application that has integrated our SDK will always run a service that allows it to scan for iBeacons, even if:
  • the application is killed
  • the application doesn't appear in the list of running applications
  • the phone is rebooted

Eddystone frames

Eddystone is an open source protocol promoted by Google.

Format

EddyStone is not a single frame but a set of frames.

EddyStone contains three defined frames for now:

  • Eddystone-ID: this frame is similar to the iBeacon format. It contains a UUID combined with a single identifier (a Major).
  • Eddystone-URI: this frame emits a URL, which can interact with applications that have implemented the protocol (Chrome iOs for example). Eddystone-URI is the corner stone of what Google calls the Physical Web.
  • EddyStone-TLM: this frame emits telemetry information about the beacon itself (Battery, number of emitted frames, temperature of the beacon...)
  • EddyStone-EID - New: EID is for Ephemeral Identifier - this frame emits an identifier that changes every few minutes.

Mobile Phone Interactions

Eddystone is compatible with iOs through the CoreBluetooth framework, and with Android through the Bluetooth framework.

When interacting with an Android device, Eddystone frames can "wake-up" an application that is in background or not running.

Currently, EddyStone frames do not enable interactions with iOs applications when they are not running, but we are currently working on some workarounds and evaluating the impacts on devices’ battery and performance.

For further information

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