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Google Adds Certification For Eddystone Beacon Providers

As Google's beacon platform expands the use of proximity marketing, brands can get a better look at the extent of the location services available.

As venues attempt to make sense of the rapidly expanding number of location business service providers, Google has listed the beacon companies it deems “certified” and divided the company into two categories that connect to its Eddystone platform.

The two areas of providers that can help stores and venues with their beacon installation, setup and maintenance include Location Services Providers and Beacon Manufacturers. The former offers a range of services that can get an installation fully up and running, while the latter presents beacon hardware that forms the foundation of location- and proximity-related functionality, Google notes in a blog post.

“Many beacons can be provisioned with several different frame types interleaved,” Google says. “In almost all cases, developers should choose one of the identifying frames (Eddystone-UID, Eddystone-EID) to ensure future compatibility with future Google products, augmented by other frames used for particular purposes (Eddystone-TLM for diagnostics, Eddystone-URL for Physical Web).”

The listed providers in Google’s blog post have “passed a suite of checks that we have designed to help ensure compatibility with the Google beacon platform, including beacons that can be set up to broadcast Eddystone, as well as services that use the Google beacon platform for app, web, and infrastructure related functionality.”

Among the questions Google suggests  brands ask when choosing a proximity tech provider to work with:

  • Support for the full Eddystone specification.
  • Use of the Nearby Messages API in Android.
  • Whether they are set up to accept your permission to manage beacons in your Google Cloud Project.

The two Location Services Providers certified by Google Eddystone are Rover and Proxama.

“The program gives [Location Services Providers] the opportunity to demonstrate that they can technically support all aspects of the Google beacon platform, and have their work checked by Google engineers,” writes co-founder and CEO John Coombs on his company’s blog, touting its certification.

While Apple’s iBeacon, which kickstarted the whole beacon craze three years ago with iOS 7,  has its own certification, it’s more limited and basically allows companies to identify their proximity wares as “made for iPhone.”

The list of Beacon Manufacturers that it has approved is a bit longer: Accent Systems, Beacon Inside, Blesh, Bluvision, Estimote, Nordic Semiconductor, Radius Networks, Sensoro, and Signal 360.

All in all, Google lists 33 location tech companies — only nine were judged fully compliant with Eddystone, meaning that the three Eddystone levels:

  • The core Eddystone frames: -UID, -TLM, -URL.
  • Eddystone Ephemeral ID (EID).
  • The Eddystone GATT service, for easy configuration.

So what does this mean for the companies and their clients?

As Rover’s Coombs notes, companies that are certified by Google Eddystone are invited to collaborate with Google as new products and services are released. In turn, that will allow them to take advantage of updates and new beacon features launched by Google.

“Brands and marketers can now reach much larger audiences by taking advantage of some of the unique no-app-required beacon features offered on Android,” Coombs adds.

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of GeoMarketing.com. A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.