It’s clear that location-based marketing is booming, and beacons (small, wireless Bluetooth radios) are a dominant technology to locate consumers. Projections are that upwards of 400 million will be deployed over the next few years — but it’s not quite as clear what type beacons these will be.

The common perception is that there are two major beacon protocols, iBeacon, developed by Apple, and Eddystone, developed by Google. But this categorization confuses the issue because Eddystone is actually a collection of 4 distinctly different protocols: Eddystone- UID1, TLM2, EID3 (unreleased), and URL4.

What’s significant in this alphabet soup is that 3 of the Eddystone protocols are similar to iBeacon in that they work with apps, while the fourth, Eddystone-URL, is a web protocol. The Eddystone-URL protocol introduces a completely new and disruptive approach to proximity marketing that is designed to make consumer interaction frictionless – where no app is needed, and where consumers

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Source: Street Fight