There is actually more than one criteria of classifying beacons. First, beacons can be classified on the basis of their type of Beacon protocol. Secondly, they can be classified on their location technology. Last but not least, you can also classify beacons based on their power solution. Before you choose beacons that best suit your business, you should understand the various types that exist in the market.
When you narrow down to the types of beacons based on their Beacons protocols, here are the ones that exist.
- iBeacon (Apple)
Apple launched iBeacon in 2013, and it was the first beacon protocol to be available in the market. iBeacon works with Apple’s iOS, and it also do work on Google’s Android provided you have the app or when it’s running on the background. Using the protocol, the beacon transmits a UUID, which is simply a string of 24 numbers that communicate effectively with an installed Mobile App.
Advantages of using iBeacon
- Performs effectively on Apple’s iOS
- Extensively supported
- Implementation is very simple and easy
- Eddystone (Google)
In July 2015, Google announced Eddystone, which was formerly known as UriBeacon. Eddystone help beacons to transmit three different frame types that work with both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. A single beacon is able to transmit one, two or all the three frame-types. The three frame-types include:
A URL is simply a website link that is transmitted to the device and eliminates the need for a mobile device to install an app.
The sensor and administrative data that comes from the beacon is communicated via telemetry.
A UID is a 16-digit string of characters that is capable of identifying the individual beacon. This UID, which is similar to Apple’s UUID, is capable of activating an installed Mobile App.
Advantages of using Eddystone
- Reliable performance on both iOS and Android
- Installed app and Telemetry information are not necessary because it can send out URL
- It integrates effectively with other Google products
- AltBeacon (Radius Networks)
In July 2014, Radius Networks announced AltBeacon. Radius Network designed this open source protocol to help overcome the issues of any protocol favoring one vendor over the other.
Advantages of using AltBeacon
- The beacon protocol is compatible with other mobile operating systems
- Offers more flexibility especially with a customizable source code