Next Step For Internet Of Things
Certainly you have run across the phrase Internet of Things sometime in the past. Recall that Internet of Things refers to what is essentially an interconnected network of real world objects all communicating with each other in real time. Internet of Things puts microelectronics, sensors and even software into ordinary everyday objects to establish this network.
With that in mind, consider the latest announcement in this field by the technology giant Google. With not so much fanfare, Google just released of what it calls Eddystone technology. It turns out that the name for this project arises from a lighthouse of the English coast by the name of Eddystone Lighthouse.
Anyway, here is what you need to know about Eddystone. Following the trend towards open source solutions, Eddystone is an open source cross platform Bluetooth LE(BLE) beacon format. You may remember that not so long ago Apple came out with it’s proprietary iBeacon technology for iOS devices. Note that although both the Google and the Apple both utilize Bluetooth LE technology, the Apple Beacon is essentially a closed platform.
Anyway, back to the new beacon. First, a quick review on what a beacon is in modern terms. To put it in the most simplest terms, a beacon is something of a “smart’ sensor. That is to say, the beacon is a battery powered device with embedded sensors, processing power and software to pinpoint its exact location and then perform a specific programmed task.
Interestingly, the Eddystone beacon functions as a one way transmitter direct to enabled bluetooth devices within range. Look at how Google itself explains the technology:”Beacons can be deployed at fixed places such as airports, museums and bus stops, and also to movable objects such as bicycles and taxis.”
Once received by a user’s device, there are many possible scenarios. For example, retail stores could use the beacons to send out promotions. Or, during special events, directions and instructions could be directly sent to participants smartphones. Or even the confusing maze that represents today’s modern airport could be made more user friendly with directions, airline schedules, gate changes and even baggage claim information.
Bottom line is this: the new Eddystone Beacon technology just released by Google puts us one step closer to the promises of the Internet of things. After all, for an Internet of Things to actually work, there will need to be a functioning network of devices such as these new beacons.