What is Eddystone-URL
Understanding where this broadcasting packet comes from may give you a better idea on how it can be deployed in the real world. Since this is a Google beacon format, here's a great introduction from their own team: quick intro video and detailed doc.
Basically, this has been adopted from their Physical Web project. It allows a beacon to be independent from the iBeacon identifiers and instead present meaningful information to devices nearby. Instead of a long UUID, major and minor values that need to be translated at the application level, this allows the beacon to broadcast a web address that can be fetched by the user and move any further interaction there.
What can you do with this frame
This is perfect if you already have a website or web service where users can be directed to and shown content related to their proximity to the beacon. Instead of having a user download an application, you can just point them to a section of your website that enables further interaction, showing useful and relevant information to the user at that moment and location.
By default, our beacons broadcasting under the Eddystone format have been programmed to use a link to our website. You may fetch this data using Google's Physical Web app, which is available for both, iOS and Android.
How to adopt this and create your own demo
Whether you've opted for the Eddystone or iBeacon profile upon your purchase, you can easily switch between them through our Panel or management app. To learn how to configure and sync changes to your beacons, please visit this article.
Since firmware 4.1, all beacons can broadcast both beacon profiles or individual Eddystone frames; you may choose to only broadcast the Eddystone-URL.
Once you've enabled the Eddystone-URL, you may change its value and point it to any website that complies with Google's own guidelines as they're acting as a proxy to prevent harmful content to be delivered. If your URL is too long, you may use an URL shortener service like Goo.gl.
If you're unsure on whether your website is Physical Web ready, please use Google's own validator: http://verify.physical-web.org
Once you've configured your beacon, fetching a list of Physical Web content around you is simply done by launching the Physical Web app.
Alternatively on iOS, you can also search for Physical Web content by downloading Google Chrome, enabling Chrome's widget on the Today View following these steps:
1. Go to the Today view and click on Edit.
2. Click on the '+' sign for the Chrome widget.
3. Once added, click on done.
4. Click on 'enable' to turn on the Physical Web.
5. Start receiving content from nearby beacons.
Check out these videos from Google showcasing exactly this.
Recently, Google has announced native Physical Web support on Android on Chrome version 49. You may need to enable this in Chrome by accessing settings/privacy and enabling the Physical Web there.
Anyone trying to test the Physical Web in Android Chrome and NOT seeing any beacons: be sure to use HTTPS, we filter out HTTP URLs— Physical Web (@ThePhysicalWeb) February 15, 2016
Please follow @ThePhysicalWeb for more updates on this project.
Read more tips about Eddystone-URL here.
Check our tutorial on how to enable Physical Web on your Android device.