Eddystone-URL and The Physical Web

The Physical Web is an open source project, championed by Google, that uses Bluetooth beacons to transmit a web address. The title of the destination web address ends up as an Android notification. iOS does not support Eddystone beacon notifications but a Physical Web app does allow them to be viewed manually.

This is the mechanism used by marketing platforms such as Royaltie Gem, Asirva and FriendChip.

Eddystone-URL is used to provide for beacons that transmit a web address. The URL can point to anything, but this is typically a web page. On Android, a custom app isn't required. The beacon/URL does not need even to be registered with Google. There are also Physical Web clients (apps) for iOS and Android that allow users to manually look for beacons

Eddystone is just a different format of Bluetooth advertising data. Here's a screenshot from the Android iBeaconDetector app showing advertising data from Eddystone-URL:

Eddystone has a limited length of only 18 bytes (characters) to store the URL. For longer URLs and easier management of the URL it's recommended to use a URL shortener. In the above beacon we are using our own bzone.click url shortener.

The app provided by the beacon manufacturer is used to put the URL into the beacon. The final, not shortened, URL must be secure and use https.

Example of setting the URL using the Axaet manufacturer app

The 'message' as people like to call it, comes from the web site title (in HTML <title></title>) and is shown in the smartphone notification. The icon used for the smartphone notification is the web site faviconWhen the user clicks on the smartphone notification, they go to the web site. Android users get a notification when they have location on, have Bluetooth on and they are using their phone. There's no notification on iOS. The Physical Web App can also be installed on iOS and Android for scenarios, such as visitor spaces, where the user is looking for beacons and hence needs more control over beacon discovery.

There are third party subscription based platforms that set up a short URL and the target web page. However, our EddystoneCMS does this for free. All you have to do is put the short URL in an Eddystone beacon using the beacon manufacturers' app. If you want us to do this for you, we offer an Eddystone Configuration Service. If you want a fully set up  beacon we also supply FriendChip.

Notification on Android and the Physical Web App

Google previously experimented with detecting Eddystone beacons in Chrome on Android and iOS. However, since October 2017, these experiments have been abandoned.

View our Eddystone Beacons

How Eddystone URL Works

FAQ: Which Beacon Do You Recommend for Eddystone?

FAQ: How Easy is Eddystone to Set Up?

Tags: eddystone, physicalweb