When I wrote in my last post about Eddystone, I was not aware of Chrome already included an update to scan nearby Eddystone beacons. Chrome version 44.0.2403.65 available in Apple AppStore (not in Play Store as of writing) now let Chrome user to open an URL broadcasted by Eddystone-URL.
This change is profound ! The following are the implications
- Developer no longer needs to write IOS codes to assess functionality offered by beacons . This is a liberation from the Apple iBeacon which must use native iOS APIs.
- A web developer can now add physical object interaction to their website. Website content can be targeted to a micro location.
- Security wise, the URL is unfiltered. A curious user clicking on a broadcasted URL may be directed to malware infected website.
- Privacy wise, by enabling Eddystone and use Chrome to launch the URL. Google knows where you are even when GPS is turn off or blocked. The Eddystone beacon location is your location. Therefore Google has a better “insights” of locations and time of your activities with a 20m accuracy.
Likely Firefox and other browser will follow and enable Eddystone. Will test out this feature with my Raspberry PI BLE project and write in next blog post.